Campus Progress Cartoonist Awarded Prestigious Herblock Prize
Matt Bors, a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose work has appeared on CampusProgress.org since its launch several years ago, has been awarded a top prize for editorial cartooning.
Bors is the recipient of The Herb Block Foundation, which recognizes “distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous standard set by [Herbert] Herblock.” The award’s namesake was a well-known cartoonist and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize whose work often took a liberal slant.
“I'm still shocked that I won. I definitely didn't see it coming,” Bors tells Campus Progress in an email from the SXSW conference in Texas. “I don't have a staff job and don't make a lot from editorial cartooning, so this is a big boost for me. I'm going to use the money to buy myself some time and lay the groundwork to keep this thing going.”
He added: “Campus Progress is one of my earliest clients. I have been published on CP longer than any online outlet outside of my own website. … Every editor I've worked with [at Campus Progress] deserves thanks, but specifically I'd like to acknowledge my colleague August Pollak for first brining me up as a possible contributor and [Campus Progress founder] David Halperin for being such a supporter of my work over the years.”
The finalist for the 2012 Herblock Prize was Jen Sorensen, another CampusProgress.org contributor who is behind the weekly comic Slowpoke. Sorenson, who one judge said “has a brilliant way of showing the absurdities of ideas and policies that at first glance might seem reasonable,” will receive a $5,000 award.
Sarah Alex, executive director of the Herb Block Foundation, said in a statement that this is the first year the group has awarded its top prize to an alternative cartoonist. “The decision of the judges reflects how the industry is changing and how the foundation seeks to broaden the cartooning reach of the prize,” she said.
The judges of the contest praised Bors work in a release:
“[Bors’ cartoons are] relevant, smart, surprising, wickedly funny. A completely successful combination of all the elements that make great editorial cartoons.” – Tom Toles, Washington Post
“Matt Bors’ editorial cartoon on the death of Steve Jobs minced off-shore capitalism, Chinese sweatshops, at least two religions and idiotic cartoon clichés. It was the most masterful cartoon of this masterful collection.” – Singe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News
“Matt Bors' submission represents satire at its best. In the spirit of Herblock, Bors' passion for the causes he believes in and his strong, independent voice shine through his work. His commitment to comics journalism, which included traveling to Haiti to bring attention to the plight of its people, is admirable and courageous. His cartoons are hard hitting yet humorous.” – Jenny Robb, curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Campus Progress congratulates Matt Bors and Jen Sorenson and thanks them for their wonderful cartooning.
Brian Stewart is the communications manager at Campus Progress.