Jen “not a comic for the fainthearted” Sorensen, the political cartoonist and illustrator, won the 2014 Herblock Prize. She is the first woman to be given the honor. Established in 2004 by the Herblock Foundation, it is awarded to
encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression. Presented each spring at the Library of Congress, the prize is awarded by The Herb Block Foundation for distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous standard set by Herblock and is judged by a panel of outside experts.
Sorensen was a finalist in 2012. Past winners include Tom Tomorrow, Tony Auth, Tom Toles, and Jeff Danziger.
About Jen Sorensen:
Jen Sorensen has been doing a weekly editorial comic since 1998. Since its start, she has won numerous awards (including seven from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) and was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2012. In 2013, Sorensen won the prestigious Reuben Award in the Editorial Cartoon division. Her work has appeared in the Village Voice, L.A. Times, Daily Kos, MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon Magazine and many, many more. Her art is vibrant and precise, and her commentary is razor sharp. Populated by recurring characters and a caustic wit, this is not a comic for the fainthearted.
She has done other work, for example here’s a marvelous infographic she did for the ACLU, Stealth Attack: What You Need to Know About the New Abortion Laws.
About Herb Block, the Herblock Foundation’s website describes him this way:
Herb Block is among the world’s best known and most admired political cartoonists. Born on October 13, 1909, the native Chicagoan spent his 72-year career fighting against abuses of the powerful. He began his editorial cartooning career at the Chicago Daily News and NEA Service before landing at The Washington Post in 1946. He received three Pulitzer Prizes and shared a fourth with The Washington Post for his cartoons. He was the recipient of innumerable awards and honorary degrees, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award the government can give. Herb Block was known as a gentle, self-effacing man with a steely resolve to use his work to bring injustices to light.
The Herblock Foundation was established on his instructions after his death
to create a foundation to support charitable and educational programs that help promote and sustain the causes he championed during his 72 years of cartooning. [...] The Herb Block Foundation is committed to defending the basic freedoms guaranteed all Americans, combating all forms of discrimination and prejudice and improving the conditions of the poor and underprivileged through the creation or support of charitable and educational programs with the same goals. The Foundation is also committed to improving educational opportunities to deserving students through post-secondary education scholarships and to promoting editorial cartooning through continuing research. All efforts of the Foundation shall be in keeping with the spirit of Herblock, America’s great cartoonist and his lifelong fight against abuses by the powerful.
I am a big fan of political cartoons, so much truth can be revealed in one picture or one panel, congratulations Jen.
Incidentally, in January HBO premiered a 95 minute documentary on the master:
In addition to his political cartoons, he also penned essays for the Washington Post, you can read them here.