Here’s the announcement:
Rob Rogers has been named the winner of the 2021 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning.
Rob Rogers is the nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist formerly with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After earning an MFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1984, Rogers landed an internship at the Pittsburgh Press. Three months later he was hired as the full-time editorial cartoonist. In 1993, Rogers joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication, Rogers’ work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and The Week, among others.
Judge Matt Davies remarked “In a historically tumultuous and heartbreaking year where so many political cartoonists created outstanding work to both comfort and eviscerate a suffering and divided nation, Rob Rogers cartoons on racial justice, pandemic hypocrisy & America’s political devolution shone bright. Rob is a virtuoso with tongue-in-cheek irony, using at times a deft touch, sometimes a two-by-four, always sharply on target and thoroughly engaging. Long a beloved and larger-than-life fixture in the editorial cartooning universe, Rob is a preeminent practitioner of the artform, and his 2020 portfolio is wholly worthy of a Herblock accolade.”The Herblock finalist for 2021 is Darrin Bell, who will receive a $5,000 after-tax cash prize. The judges said “Darin Bell’s cartoons illuminate a path through the political and societal pall with authority, gravitas and extraordinary artistic skill, leaving no doubt to his audience as to what — and who — is wrong in our nation.”
Judges for this year’s contest included Michael de Adder, who works for Counterpoint, the Toronto Star as well as the Halifax Chronicle Herald and winner of the 2020 Herblock Prize; and Davies, staff cartoonist and a member of the editorial board for Newsday and the 2004 and 2019 Herblock Prize winner. Michael de Adder said “The judges deemed one portfolio to be the most consistent, the most poignant and the worthiest of this year’s Herblock Prize. That is the portfolio of Rob Rogers.”
Rogers’ work received the 1995 and 2019 National Headliner Award, as well as the 2000 and 2013 Thomas Nast Award from the Overseas Press Club. In 2015, Rogers was awarded the Berryman Award from the National Press Foundation. Rogers received the Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial cartooning in 2019 and was named a 2019 Emerson Fellow by the Emerson Collective. In 1999 and 2019, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Rogers served as president of the ToonSeum, a museum of comic and cartoon art in Pittsburgh, from 2007 to 2017.
In June of 2018, after 25 years on staff at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rogers was fired for drawing cartoons critical of President Trump. In his most recent book, “Enemy of the People: A Cartoonist’s Journey,” Rogers talks about the importance of satire in today’s political climate. Rogers continues to draw for syndication, including contributing to Tinyview.com and Counterpoint.
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. Rob Rogers will receive the Prize on October 25th in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. José Andrés, chef and founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK) a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.
The Herb Block Foundation seeks to further the recognition and support of editorial cartooning: www.HerbblockFoundation.org.