Cartoonist Ward Sutton has been named the winner of the 2018 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. The prize is one of the most prestigious in editorial cartooning (after the Pulitzer). Sutton has been on the scene for a while, making waves with his regular work for The Boston Globe, and comics seen everywhere, including The New Yorker, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Nib, In These Times, GQ, The Nation, Time, TV Guide, Rolling Stone, Fusion, MAD Magazine, and many more. In 2010, his full-page “Tea Party Comics” won a gold medal from the Society of Publication Designers.
I’m really pleased by this win – I’ve know Ward since the 90s when he was a mainstay illustrator for Disney Adventures, and he is truly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and his cartoons are always crossbow bolts straight to the heart of hypocrisy and greed. In fact, Stephen Colbert said of Sutton: “Ward Sutton’s satire doesn’t just bite, it maims. He’s the perfect cartoonist for our discordant times.’’
We couldn’t agree more.
More of Sutton’s deeds from the PR:
Alarmed by the incoming Trump administration, Sutton drew a “RESIST” poster image and distributed it for free online in 2017. It was downloaded, printed, carried in marches all over the world, and later chosen by American Illustration in its annual competition.
In addition to cartooning, Sutton has created posters for Broadway, the Sundance Film Festival, and musicians such as Beck, Radiohead, Phish, and Pearl Jam. He has designed, directed and/or produced animation for HBO, Noggin and Comedy Central. His work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, The Society of Publication Designers, The Society for News Design, The Minnesota Page One Awards and The Art Directors Club.
Born in Minnesota, Sutton got his start cartooning for the Edina Sun community newspaper when he was in middle school. He continued at Edina High School’s Zephyrus and St. Olaf College’s Manitou Messenger before launching his first professional political strip, “Ward’s Cleaver,” in the Minneapolis alt-weekly, The Twin Cities Reader. Since then, he has lived in Seattle, New York City, and Costa Rica before finding his current home with his family in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The Herblock Prize is awarded annually by The Herb Block Foundation for “distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herblock.” The winner receives a $15,000 after-tax cash prize and a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. Ward Sutton will receive the Prize on May 9th in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. Scott Simon, Peabody Award-winning correspondent and host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.
Judges for this year’s contest were Ruben Bolling, author of the weekly comic strip “Tom the Dancing Bug” and winner of the 2017 Herblock Prize; Jenny Robb, Curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University; and Ann Telnaes, editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post and first woman to have received both the Reuben Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.
The judges said “We were greatly impressed by the quality and breadth of submissions, with so much outstanding work being done in all types of political cartooning. But we felt that Ward Sutton’s combination of strong artwork and sharp satirical writing stood out. Ward’s art style has an appealing comic book look that includes a mastery of caricature within that context. He juxtaposes these attractive drawings with strong, urgent writing, setting up creative premises and wringing out of them cutting humor and provocative commentary that rise to the historical importance of today’s issues.”
Steve Brodner, a satirical illustrator who has covered nine national political conventions for Esquire, The Progressive, The Village Voice and others, was named this year’s finalist and will receive a $5,000 after-tax cash prize. The judges said “Strong caricatures in editorial cartoons convey vital information to the reader about the character and motivation of a political figure. Steve Brodner’s superior draftsmanship and effective use of caricature in his editorial commentary was well-represented in his portfolio and is exemplary of the high quality artwork of Herb Block and other legendary cartoonists.”
The Herb Block Foundation seeks to further the recognition and support of editorial cartooning: www.HerbblockFoundation.org.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.