FIVE DAYS AGO, I wrote that Adam Zyglis was having a banner week on the medals podium.
Today, that became a banner year.
Zyglis, the political cartoonist for the Buffalo News, has just won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The Pulitzer judges said that he “used strong images to connect with readers while conveying layers of meaning in a few words.”
“Hearing I’d won was surreal,” Zyglis tells The Post’s Comic Riffs this afternoon, shortly after receiving the news. “I was working in a corner of the newsroom, and suddenly, people started shouting and coming up and hugging me.”
It’s been an extended period of such good news and congratulations. Last year, shortly after returning from paternity leave, Zyglis learned that we’d won the Berryman Award and was a finalist for the NCS Reubens divisional award for editorial cartooning.
Then, just last week, Zyglis was named the 2015 recipient of the Grambs Aronson Award for Cartooning With a Conscience, as presented by Hunter College in New York. Also last week, he was runner-up in the National Headliner Award, as presented by the Press Club of Atlantic City.
Zyglis, who is in his early 30s, is the third Buffalo News journalist ever to win the cartooning Pulitzer, and only the second in the past half-century. Zyglis, who was hired by the News in 2004, replaced Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles, who won the 1990 Pulitzer while with the News.
Even prior to his Pulitzer win, Zyglis, who is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons, said the recognition this year from national-award juries had been “humbling.”
“I’m extremely fortunate to have my work recognized,” Zyglis told The Post’s Comic Riffs last week, “with so much good journalism being produced out there.”
The Pulitzer runners-up were Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher of the Baltimore Sun, for his “simple, punchy cartoons with a classic feel lampooning the hypocrisy of not just his subjects but also his readers”; and Tom Tomorrow (the nom-de-toon of Dan Perkins) of the Daily Kos, for “cartoons that create an alternate universe — an America frozen in time whose chorus of conventional wisdom is at odds with current reality.”
Like Zyglis, Kallaugher has had a special year on the awards podium. In February, “Kal,” who also works for the Economist magazine, received Europe’s Grand Prix Award for press “cartoon of the year.” And last month, Kal was named the recipient of the 2015 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning.
[Baltimore Sun, Economist cartoonist KAL honored to win the 2015 Herblock Prize]
Perkins, who began drawing his alt-weekly comic “This Modern World” in the early ’90s, has been receiving much-due appreciation in recent years. He received the Herblock Prize in 2013, and in January, it was announced that a collection of his work and his papers was being donated to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
From Adam Zyglis’s Pulitzer-winning portfolio: