The past month or so has probably been the busiest of my entire career as a cartoonist. In the meantime, I’ve been remiss about updating the blog, so I’m going to try to get caught up here with a few posts.
One major development is that was named the recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize, a prestigious editorial cartooning award from the Herb Block Foundation. (I had been named Finalist in 2012.) It’s a humbling experience, being part of the legacy of such an influential cartoonist who was so consistently on the right side of history. I’ve received more kind emails and comments than I can keep up with, which has been truly heartwarming.
Here’s additional coverage from the Washington Post.
Last year, The Progressive magazine asked me to interview one of my favorite cartoonists, Alison Bechdel. The interview is finally available online. We had a great chat about her latest book (Are You My Mother?) and the cartooning life, so check it out!
I was happy to learn this week that Janet Yellen has been confirmed as the first female Fed Chair in U.S. history. One of the highlights of last year for me was getting to meet Yellen in person. I was at the RFK Journalism Awards in Washington DC last September, and I noted to a friend sitting next to me that the Book Award winner, Joseph Stiglitz, had recently penned an excellent op-ed in support of Yellen. No sooner had the words escaped my mouth than I turned around to discover Yellen herself sitting in the row behind me. After doing a double-take, I introduced myself, explaining that I had drawn an editorial cartoon supporting her nomination. As it turned out, she had seen it. Both she and her husband, Nobel Prize-winning economist George Akerlof, were very gracious.
I appear tallish in this photo, but in fact I’m only a bit over 5’5″.
Some exciting new developments: As of a couple months ago, The Nation began publishing comics regularly in the print edition, as well as online, and I’m honored to be in the rotation. Here’s a recent strip of mine in Comix Nation.
I’m also happy to be part of Medium.com’s stellar new cartoon lineup, which you can check out here. My strip will appear on The Nib on Thursdays.
For the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice earlier this year, NPR Books asked me to create a one-page comic version of the story. This was something of an artistic challenge, but in the end it seemed to please Jane Austen fans and scholars, who made it the most-read story on NPR that day.
And lo, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping (or in plenty of time for the 201st anniversary of Pride and Prejudice), I have prepared for you a lovely poster version of the comic, available hand-signed. The printer did an excellent job; the poster is on heavy stock with a smooth, silky finish that you’ll want to caress as Jane would Mr. Bingley.
Many people are unaware that the Library of Congress contains an incredible archive of comic books and cartoon art, which I’ve been fortunate to see on a couple occasions. Bleeding Cool has a nice post giving you a taste of what it’s like. I’m honored to have some of my own originals kept there, as part of the Small Press Expo collection. (A photo of a cartoon I did about Sarah Palin appears at the bottom.)
‘Tis the season of Publication of Books Containing My Drawings. “Eat Drink Vote” is a collection of essays about the many issues surrounding our food supply, paired with political cartoons by a number of artists. The author, NYU professor Marion Nestle, is perhaps best known for her book “What to Eat,” which I highly recommend for anyone seeking to answer that question.
Is that Wendy Davis on my drawing table? Why, yes it is. This is from a long-form comic I’m working on for a nonprofit, to be published next week.
I’ve started a new Facebook page where I’m going to be posting my comics and other things. This will be replacing the old Slowpoke Comics page, if you’ve been following me there. I hate to lose the large number of followers on the old page, but Facebook is somewhat inflexible when it comes to updating professional Pages. Please help me rebuild — go forth and Like!
My “Surveillence Bait” comic on the NSA is up on Medium today. If you haven’t heard of Medium yet, it’s a new site for writers (and now cartoonists) started by the founders of Twitter. My colleague Matt Bors recently started a new gig there as comics editor, and will be posting his work and others’ to a section called The Nib. Check it out.
A couple items of note regarding my various online activity portals. First, I have finally finished making this site fully-functional! The “Order a Print” button actually enables you to order a print, and the illustration portfolio now contains more than just a few items for your perusal. I’ll be adding more content and features as time permits.
Secondly, I now have a new Twitter handle, @JenSorensen, thanks to a very kind Jen Sorensen in Colorado who gave me hers. Apparently she was getting a fair number of tweets about my cartoons. Back in the early days of Twitter, I came close to grabbing the handle myself, but decided not to because everyone misspells my name, and how important could this Twitter thing be, anyhow? Now I see the error of my ways, and consider myself lucky to not be named Zach Galifianakis (although I’d take his job).
I’m incredibly honored to announce that I’ve won a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for political cartooning. Known informally as “the poor people’s Pulitzer,” this award is especially thrilling because you learn of it through a phone call from Ethel Kennedy herself. I happened to be in a flooring store trying to find something to replace an ugly carpet in my house when the call came. Let’s just say Ethel Kennedy was one of the last people I expected to be at the other end of that unrecognizable phone number. Afterward, I completely lost my ability to focus on carpets.
The award is due in part to my comic for Kaiser Health News, “An Open Letter to the Supreme Court About Health Insurance.” Many thanks to KHN for giving me the opportunity!
I’m looking forward to meeting Mrs. Kennedy at the awards ceremony on September 26 — and shooting the breeze with the great economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Book Award.