News Flash

Posted by on April 13th, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning over the last year is Mark Fiore, self-syndicated, “for his animated cartoons appearing on SFGate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle website, where his wit, extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary.” Finalists were: Tony Auth of the Philadelphia Inquirer for “his simplicity in expressing consistently fearless positions on national and local issues,” and Matt Wuerker of Politico for “his broad portfolio that encompasses the nation’s historic political year, using rich artistry, wry humor and sometimes animation to drive home his deft satire.” Wuerker won the prestigious Herblock Award just a few weeks ago.

Fiore, who lives in San Francisco and habitually dresses like a surfer (I can say this authoritatively because we were once, briefly, roommates), was among the first—if not, in fact, The First—editoonist to go into animating his cartoons as a full-time enterprise, making the cartoons and marketing them, too, via the Web. His cartoons are not just moving pictures: they are full-bore film productions with music as well as dialogue and, sometimes, songs. And he manages to preserve from his static cartoons in a previous life a limber line that waxes and wanes and even bunches up occasionally for graphic emphasis. He is a genuine pioneer, whose example has inspired an entire profession. You can see his productions at markfiore.com.

The power of editorial cartooning got another boost hereabouts. At the Denver Post, our local paper, a staff photographer won a Pulitzer for his photos that accompanied a multi-part feature story that followed a young man from high school graduation into the army and then to Iraq and back. This is only the sixth Pulitzer anyone at the Post has ever won, and two of the preceding five were won by editorial cartoonists: Paul Conrad in 1964 (just as he was leaving for the Los Angeles Times) and Pat Oliphant in 1967 for work in 1966, the year after he arrived at the Post from his native Australia.

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