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For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 – Mark Fiore has been named the winner of the 2016 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. Fiore is the first to win the Prize with all animated cartoon entries.
Mark Fiore, who the Wall Street Journal has called “the undisputed guru of the form,” creates animated political cartoons in San Francisco, one of the most fertile regions for creating political animation and cartoons. His work has appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site, Newsweek.com, Slate.com, CBSNews.com, MotherJones.com, NPR’s web site and is currently being featured on online news sites ranging from KQED and Truthdig.com to The Progressive and DailyKos.com. Fiore’s political animation has been featured on CNN, Frontline, BillMoyers.com, Salon.com and cable and broadcast outlets across the globe.
Beginning his professional life by drawing traditional political cartoons for newspapers, Fiore's work appeared in publications ranging from The Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times. In the late 1990s, he began to experiment with animating political cartoons and, after a short stint at the San Jose Mercury News as their staff cartoonist, Fiore devoted all his energies to animation.
Mark Fiore was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning in 2010, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2004 and has twice received an Online Journalism Award for commentary from the Online News Association (2002, 2008). Fiore has received two awards for his work in new media from the National Cartoonists Society (2001, 2002), and in 2006 received The James Madison Freedom of Information Award from The Society of Professional Journalists.
The Herblock Prize is awarded annually by The Herb Block Foundation for "distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herblock." The winner receives a $15,000 after-tax cash prize and a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. Mark Fiore will receive the Prize on May 24th in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. Mark Shields, a nationally known political analyst, columnist and commentator, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.
Judges for this year's contest were Kevin Kallaugher (KAL), editorial cartoonist for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist, winner of the 2015 Herblock Prize; Michael Rhode, archivist and author, commentator on comics for the Washington City Paper and creator of the ComicsDC blog; and Peter Kuper, alternative cartoonist and illustrator best known for his autobiographical, political, and social observations is also a visiting professor at Harvard University.
Judge Kevin Kallaugher (Kal) commented, "Mark Fiore's entry contained an engaging and powerful collection of visual commentaries. Fiore demonstrated a great use of parody, adept writing, great visualizations and solid journalism to deliver thought provoking editorials. Like a good Herblock cartoon, Mark's work displayed a consistent and determined passion to fight against societies' ills and absurdities. It is his skilled and masterful cartoon craftsmanship steeped with determined political convictions that make Fiore's animations worthy of the Herblock Prize."
Peter Kuper added, "From the numerous high quality entries to this year's Herblock Foundation award, Mark Fiore's animation entry rose to the top. Not because it was animated, but rather because he demonstrated a consistently strong handle on his subject matter with an ability to convey complex topics with great humor, rage and irony. Fiore produced a powerful body of work that addresses a range of current events and brilliantly serves them up with a smile and a kick in the gut, heart, and other body parts. His work honors the legacy of Herblock and expands the form."
This year's finalist is Ruben Bolling, pen name for Ken Fisher. He is the author of the weekly comic strip "Tom the Dancing Bug" and will receive a $5,000 after-tax cash prize. Judge Peter Kuper stated "For decades Ruben Bolling has consistently produced full page comics that find new angles of attack on familiar subjects. With subtlety, yet tremendous humor, he constructs each comic without any wasted space to build to surprising conclusions. Many of his strips take on several topics at the same time and over the years he has honed his art to deliver these ideas with great verve."