Tom Tomorrow: Pulitzers Mostly Ignore Alternative Cartoonists

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By: E&P Staff

“This Modern World” cartoonist Tom Tomorrow criticized the Pulitzer Prize board for not giving sufficient consideration to alternative cartoonists.

“There are quite a few professional political cartoonists working today, obviously including myself, whose careers have been primarily shaped by the alternative press,” Tomorrow wrote in his blog. But “the Pulitzers don’t really seem to be keeping up with the times, at least when it comes to cartooning.”

The self-syndicated Tomorrow noted that “the only Pulitzer ever awarded to a cartoonist from the alternative press was given to Jules Feiffer in 1986. The only other remotely non-traditional cartoonists to have been recognized within my lifetime are Garry Trudeau in 1975 and Berke Breathed in 1987. And the last time, to my knowledge, that an alternative editorial cartoonist of any kind was even considered was when Ted Rall made the short list a full ten years ago.”

Tomorrow continued: “The media landscape has changed dramatically since the Pulitzers were founded, and there are a lot of cartoonists these days whose work is distributed in ways that Joseph Pulitzer could never have imagined possible — and whose styles do not conform to the traditional editorial cartoon template. And I can’t help but wonder: do any of us have the remotest chance of ever being considered for this honor, or should we just stop bothering to submit our portfolios each year?Do the judges even glance at these entries, or are they tossed straight onto the discard pile as soon as the entry fee has been retrieved?

“Most importantly: if the Pulitzer Prize for cartooning is really the ‘Pulitzer Prize for Daily Newspaper Editorial Page Preferably Single Panel Cartooning, Others Need Not Apply,’ would you mind letting us know? That way we can stop wasting our time, and yours, applying for a prize for which we are not actually eligible.”

Tomorrow did emphasize that this year’s cartooning winner — Mike Luckovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creators Syndicate — was an excellent choice. And he said many other daily editorial cartoonists were deserving Pulitzer winners in past years.

The posting by Tomorrow was mentioned and discussed on blogs such as DailyCartoonist.com and ComicsReporter.com.

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