Pulitzer-Winning Cartoonist Explains His Move to Houston

By: Dave Astor

Why is 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Anderson leaving a job he loves to move to the Houston Chronicle starting Feb. 13?

“There are 100 reasons,” replied The Courier-Journal of Louisville editorial cartoonist, when reached Thursday by E&P Online.

One reason, said Anderson, is that the Chronicle will allow him to take “a slightly different approach” to editorial cartooning. He declined to say at this time what that approach will be.

“Change is very good for creativity,” added Anderson, citing a second reason. He has been with The Courier-Journal for about 15 years.

A third reason involves the interesting subjects for cartoon commentary in The Lone Star State. “Texas is a target-rich environment. It’s where George W. Bush is from and where Tom DeLay is going on trial,” said Anderson, who’s syndicated to about 75 newspapers by the Washington Post Writers Group.

Anderson, 39, also said the Chronicle is a bigger newspaper and Houston a bigger city with more cultural opportunities and international flavor — though he emphasized that he also loves Louisville.

Whatever the attractions of Houston, Anderson wasn’t looking to go to the Chronicle or anywhere else. “They contacted me out of the blue in August or September,” he recalled. “I was skeptical. I had the perfect situation in Louisville.”

Anderson even turned down the Chronicle’s offer at one point. But the cartoonist and his family (he has a wife and two sons) were gradually convinced. He accepted the job this Tuesday, and is slated to leave The Courier-Journal on Feb. 10.

The cartoonist praised his current newspaper, where he won the Pulitzer last April for cartoons that were cited for their commentary and innovative use of color. “The Courier-Journal has been great to me,” he said. “I feel really bad.”

But Anderson is happy that the paper, unlike some dailies, will most likely hire another cartoonist to replace him.

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