Pulitzers: Beyond a Black-and-White Palette

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By: Dave Astor

When submitting editorial cartoons for the 2004 Pulitzer Prizes, Nick Anderson included many opposing the Iraq war. This year, his package featured some Iraq commentary, but also cartoons on the presidential race, GOP ethics, the economy, health care, gay rights, and other topics. “I was careful to have a wide range of issues and approaches,” says The Courier-Journal of Louisville staffer. “If I did mostly Iraq again, it could have looked obsessive.”

Variety worked, as Anderson nabbed his profession’s biggest prize.

Much of Anderson’s 2004 work was in color, as he joined a growing group leaving black and white behind. A recent look at the “Daily Editorial Cartoons” section of Daryl Cagle’s Web site showed 23 of 103 drawings by various artists were in color.

Anderson’s politics are liberal, but he says he also favors governmental “gridlock.” He explains that he has voted Democratic for president and Republican for Congress because he believes in checks and balances. Now, says Anderson, the government has turned so conservative that it makes him look more liberal than he is.

The 38-year-old Anderson, who joined the Courier-Journal in 1991, praised it for having a staff editorial cartoonist when many papers today don’t.

Anderson’s Pulitzer brought words of praise from the Washington Post Writers Group, which has syndicated him since the mid-1990s. “Nick has deserved this for a long time,” says Alan Shearer, WPWG’s editorial director/general manager. “He’s gotten more and more consistent. He’s a really hard worker, and one of the good guys.”

WPWG Managing Editor James Hill adds: “Nick’s art is very modern and original. He does genuinely funny cartoons, but also drives his points home well.”

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