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Home > Publications > Quill > SDX Award Winners: Editorial Cartoons and Informational Graphics


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Monday, July 13, 2009
SDX Award Winners: Editorial Cartoons and Informational Graphics

The State Journal-Register and Los Angeles Times

Jim Poyser

Editorial Cartooning

WINNER: CHRIS BRITT, THE STATE JOURNAL REGISTER

"Chris Britt’s cartoons stood out from the field for their fearlessness — always the quintessential job requirement for a political cartoonist,” judges said. “Deploying a variety of structural and compositional methodologies, Britt invariably presents points of view that are simultaneously contrarian and obvious — the latter due to his straightforward approach to building an argument, often with multiple panels. His artwork is lively and energetic. One cartoon in particular, which describes the long history of oppression of African-Americans in the U.S. and culminates with a man watching TV asking ‘Where does the anger come from?’ is one of the most powerful pieces of graphic art to have been published in 2008.”

Britt said the most “difficult and frustrating aspect [of this profession] is the fact that too many of the most powerful and biting cartoons never see the light of day. So much of what you see reprinted anymore tends to be more humorous and lighthearted. That said, I love what I do. Each day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to speak my mind and try to influence the policymakers through a visual dialog.”

Link to Cartoons: http://tinyurl.com/mwvgtx



Informational Graphics

WINNER: STAFF, LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Big Burn”

Wildfires are a recurring problem in California, and the devastation they cause has been a consistent topic of coverage for the L.A. Times throughout the years. With “Big Burn,” the staff stepped back from the fire lines to look at the bigger picture. The graphics were developed in conjunction with reporting from Times’ staff writers Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart, who spent more than a year gathering information and conducting interviews about what they came to call the “fire-industrial complex.”

It took the entire team, led by graphics editor Les Dunseith, to figure out a visually interesting way to present statistics about firefighting spending and allocation of manpower. They settled on a hand-drawn approach, which created some artistic license, visually compressing firefighting efforts that spanned across many miles of real space into illustrations that occupied a relatively small amount of newsprint.

Judges said the “informational graphics in ‘Big Burn’ were creative, well-displayed and informative. The hand-drawn technique was unique but not childish or cartoon-like; the Times staff did an excellent job using this technique. The staff drew us in with the artwork and gave us specific information without having it become overwhelming. Even when the staff used a lot of descriptive text on the graphics, it was not distracting and did not take away from the look of the graphic — something that is difficult to achieve.”

In short, the judges said, “The Times found a perfect balance of art and text.”

Times staffers added that they “take pride in producing well-rounded coverage, with stories, photographs and graphics that work together to present a complete picture. It’s challenging to do this consistently well. When the information graphics are tightly integrated with the other coverage, as we hope was the case with ‘Big Burn,’ the result is extremely effective.”

Link to Graphics and Series: http://tinyurl.com/56fcyj

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