EARLY TODAY, Comic Riffs posed the question: Will Matt Wuerker win a first Pulitzer for Politico?
Minutes ago, the Pulitzer Prize judges answered that query with a resounding “Yes.”
The third time in the finalists’ circle was a charm for Wuerker, who has just won the Pulitzer for Editorial Cartooning, Columbia University has just announced.
“This feels fantastic, to state the obvious,” Wuerker tells Comic Riffs. ”This is a dream come true.
“I’ve been cartooning for some 30 years now, and up until a few years ago, I didn’t think anything like this was vaguely possible,” continues the D.C.-based Wuerker, who was also a Pulitzer finalist in 2009 and 2010, as well as the 2010 winner of the Herblock Prize and the Berryman Award.
What profoundly changed his career, he says, was becoming a founding staffer at Politico.
“I credit the people aboard the good ship Politico ... ,” Wuerker tells Comic Riffs. “I would really like to give credit to the glorious orchestra constructed around me. The much more serious players at Politico will be picking up [Pulitzers] in the years ahead.”
The Pulitzer jurors cited Wuerker’s “consistently fresh, funny cartoons, especially memorable for lampooning the partisan conflict that engulfed Washington.”
This morning, Comic Riffs also wondered whether an alt-political cartoonist and “younger gun” like Matt Bors would land among the finalists.
The Pulitzer judges were of a like mind to ‘Riffs: Bors and another top Portland-based talent, the Oregonian’s gifted veteran Jack Ohman, were both named finalists.
[2012 PULITZER PRIZES: Handicapping the Cartoon Race with these 5 Key Questions]
“I never won anything before this year, and suddenly I'm festooned in awards,” the syndicated Bors tells Comic Riffs. “I don't know what's happening or why, but I'll graciously accept the honors.”
“It's all very encouraging to me,” Bors continues, “and suddenly I feel like I might be able to keep this silly notion of drawing cartoons for a living alive and well.”
Ohman, for his part, says he’s excited to be among such friendly and fraternal company.
“I am thrilled for my longtime friend Matt Wuerker, and there is no one more deserving,” Ohman tells Comic Riffs. “It's also thrilling for me to be a finalist along with Matt Bors, who is one of my best friends and brother Portlander.
“I've gotten many gifts in my career,” Ohman continues, “but this is a greater gift — to be a finalist with these two talented friends.”
2011 PULITZER: Mike Keefe
2010 PULITZER: Mark Fiore
2009 PULITZER: Steve Breen