The artist, speaking by phone from Sacramento, calls winning the Pulitzer “hallucinogenically fun.”
Ohman, who has practiced his craft professionally for more than 35 years, says that he especially values the response today from his cartooning colleagues. “I’ve been very close with those folks and love them,” Ohman tells Comic Riffs, “and to get that kind of support means a lot.”
Ohman, 55, adds: “I couldn’t have gotten more support from the Bee.”
“In 2015, he took his artistry to a new level,” Joyce Terhaar, the Bee’s executive editor, wrote in her Pulitzer nomination cover letter. “He had plenty of material: gun violence; mass shootings and terrorism; Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump; California’s drought; and our endlessly interesting governor, Jerry Brown, and Brown’s Welsh corgi, Sutter.”
Terhaar also noted that Ohman “drew from his own life, with humanity and depth.”
The Pulitzer Prize jurors cited Ohman’s “wry, rueful perspectives through sophisticated style that combines bold line work with subtle colors and textures.”
Ohman brings virtuosic range to the editorial pages, blending single-panel political cartoons with works of multi-panel pacing and depth and the occasional longer comic. He also writes a Sunday column for the paper. His previous honors include the Thomas Nast Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, the National Headliner Award and the RFK Journalism Award.
A Minnesota native, Ohman worked at the Oregonian in Portland for decades before moving to the Bee in 2012.
So what will Ohman do now that’s won his big new journalism prize?
“I’m having a special uniform made,” Ohman says, “with epaulets that say, ‘Pulitzer’ across them.”