Luckovich: Winning a Pulitzer May Be Better the 2nd Time Around

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By: Dave Astor

How does editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich feel about winning the Pulitzer Prize again after 11 years? “It’s just as thrilling the second time as it was the first time,” Luckovich told E&P Monday.

In some ways winning is better in 2006 than 1995, added The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist. Luckovich noted that three of his children are now at an age (19, 17, and 14) where they can appreciate the prize more. His fourth child, who’s 5, wasn’t around for the first Pulitzer.

Luckovich, 46, said he was tipped off Sunday that he had won the Pulitzer, but was still nervous and not prepared to celebrate until the official word came in yesterday afternoon.

Does Luckovich feel his memorable “WHY?” cartoon — in which he wrote the names of all 2,000 American soldiers who had died in Iraq as of last October — helped him win his second Pulitzer? “I guess it probably had an impact,” replied Luckovich, who said he placed that cartoon first in his portfolio of 20 Pulitzer submissions.

“I’m sure that cartoon helped,” added Margo Sugrue, national sales director of Creators Syndicate, which distributes Luckovich’s work to more than 150 newspapers. “It was very powerful. He obviously poured a lot of time and effort into it.” Luckovich spent more than 12 hours inking the drawing.

Six of the 20 cartoons Luckovich submitted this year were on Iraq-related topics and four were about Hurricane Katrina. Luckovich (profiled in E&P’s December 2005 issue) worked for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans before joining the Journal-Constitution in 1989.

Sugrue is obviously happy about the Pulitzer win. “We’re very proud of Mike,” she said. “He’s a delight to work with, and his cartoons have been consistently great over the years.”

Consistent enough to win a Pulitzer in two different decades.

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