STEVE SACK draws a rather uncanny Vladimir Putin, complete with heavily hooded eyes perched above long cheekbones — as if even the Russian leader’s very face is simultaneously distancing itself while remaining ever watchful.
Fortunately, Sack, the political cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is watchful as well, because his satiric depictions of Putin and Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Un are dead-on. And now, the Overseas Press Club has agreed.
On Tuesday, the OPC announced that Sack is this year’s recipient of its Thomas Nast Award for cartoons — one of several dozen honors and citations bestowed by the group, which rewards courageous and illuminating international coverage.
Sack, whose work won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, says he is “immensely honored” to be recognized by the OPC, even as he emphasizes the role of the press in 2017.
“Technology may be shrinking our world, but without the work of professional journalists to sort out what’s truly of value, we’d be left with nothing but gibberish, commercial pablum and government spin,” Sack tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “The press is my window to the world.
“To have my cartoons recognized by those whose efforts I depend on every day,” he adds, “is most gratifying.”
The OPC judges said that “Sack successfully harnessed all the cartoonist’s tools — caricature, composition, biting wit and solid journalism — in his impressive portfolio.”
The Overseas Press Club also awarded a finalist citation to Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News.
“I was extremely happy to see Steve Sack win the top prize,” says Zyglis, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. “He is a true master of the craft, and is at the top of his game right now. To be a finalist behind someone of his caliber is humbling.”
Elsewhere, the OPC’s President’s Award will salute those who have died covering the Syrian war — one of six honors awarded to those reporting on the conflict. And the Washington Post’s Simon Denyer, Emily Rauhala and Elizabeth Dwoskin won the Bob Considine Award for their series on China “Behind the Firewall.”
The winners will be honored April 27 in New York.