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Ward Sutton ’89 wins Herblock Prize

Cartoonist Ward Sutton ’89 has been awarded the prestigious Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

St. Olaf alumnus and renowned cartoonist and illustrator Ward Sutton ‘89 has been awarded the prestigious Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. The Herblock Prize is awarded annually by The Herb Block Foundation for “distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herblock.”

Sutton has been cartooning since middle school, drawing for the Edina Sun, and carried his talents to the Manitou Messenger while enrolled at St. Olaf College. After, Sutton created his first professional political comic strip titled “Ward’s Cleaver.” His cartooning career has taken him from The New Yorker, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Nib, In These Times, GQ, The Nation, Time, TV Guide, Rolling Stone, Fusion, MAD Magazine, to more currently the Boston Globe, where he’s been drawing cartoons since 2008.

Outside of cartooning, Sutton’s work has also been seen with in the satirical publication The Onion, drawing under the pseudonym Stan Kelly, later publishing a book of his works Kelly: The Cartoonist America Turns To. Sutton is also known as the artist behind the “RESIST” poster artwork that was seen in response to the 2016 election. He also illustrated pieces for Broadway, Sundance Film Festival, artists such as Beck and Radiohead, and produced animations for HBO, Noggin, and Comedy Central.

Stephen Colbert has even praised Sutton’s work, stating, “Ward Sutton’s satire doesn’t just bite, it maims. He’s the perfect cartoonist for our discordant times.’’

Stephen Colbert holding a book next to Ward Sutton.

St. Olaf Magazine profiled Ward in the Spring 2017 issue of the magazine, “Cartoons in Character” by Erin Peterson. In the profile, Sutton explains the birth of his satirical alter-ego at The Onion and his rise to editor of the back page at the Manitou Messenger.

Sutton will receive the Prize on May 9, 2018 in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. Scott Simon, Peabody Award-winning correspondent and host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.