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Animators Up for Pulitzer Prize


The journalism trade magazine, Editor and Publisher is reporting that the three cartoonists reported to be Pulitzer Award finalists all do animation:

What do Nick Anderson, Walt Handelsman, and Mike Thompson (his latest cartoon above) have in common?

They are the three names leaked to E&P’s Joe Strupp as likely finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. And, as E&P has reported on several occasions, all three are part of a growing group of print cartoonists who also do online political animations.

“The profession is abuzz with this,” one cartoonist told E&P today. This cartoonist (not Anderson, Handelsman, or Thompson) added that he heard all three possible finalists submitted animations with their print Pulitzer portfolios.

This is the first year that video, audio, and other new online entries havebeen accepted by the Pulitzers. (Online text and online still images were previously accepted.)

Anderson, a 2005 Pulitzer winner, is with the Houston Chronicle and the Washington Post Writers Group. Handelsman, a 1997 Pulitzer winner, is with Newsday of Melville, N.Y., and Tribune Media Services. And Thompson, a 2006 Pulitzer finalist, is with the Detroit Free Press and Copley News Service.

(Thanks, Lou Spirito)

  • The Captain America cartoon is dead-on. Funny and sad because it’s so true. Congrats to them on the nomination.

  • The title of this post is a real stretch.
    None of these artists are what I’d call animators. I couldn’t find a link to Anderson’s animation, but the Handelsman animation is a typically rude tweaking of print material in order to get it additional exposure online.

    After reading endless diatribes against today’s television animation and the recent rants against mo-cap, I ask brew readers where you draw the line between animation and a basic exploitation of software that simply moves still images.

    I know some of you will be tempted to point out that these cartoonists are using techniques similar to Ward Kimball’s explorations in limited animation. But Ward Kimball and Terry Gilliam moved their cutouts in thoughtful, entertaining ways.

    IMHO, heralding this stuff as animation is more damaging to the art form than motion-capture, which is still in it’s infancy, and will be increasingly finessed by artistic principles as it matures.

  • Paul

    I gotta agree with Chuck – the quality of Handlesman’s “animation” is pretty poor. Plus, his approach is a knockoff of Mark Fiore, who’s been doing Flash-based editorial cartoons for a few years now.

    From a production perspective, it’s clear Handlesman knows nothing about optimization or file size issues, as his awful cartoon took waaaaay too long to load for the quality of the content.

  • All these criticisms may be valid, but it is important to try and remember that reinterpreting a traditional craft or skill like cartooning in the digital era is going to help keep the art alive for new generations of readers.

    And that is the really valuable point of this work.

    Everything else is just opinions.