Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Syndicates: EYES ON TWO PRIZES FOR N.Y. Cartoonist

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Syndicates: EYES ON TWO PRIZES FOR N.Y. Cartoonist

Article excerpt

Every 10 years, something major happens in Matt Davies' life. In 1983, his family moved from London, England, to the United States. In 1993, Davies became a full-time staff editorial cartoonist for The Journal News in White Plains, N.Y. In 2003, he was chosen as president-elect of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC).

But Davies, 37, won't have to wait another decade for more big milestones. Last month, he was named the first recipient of the

$10,000 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. And Davies is reportedly a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

If Davies gets a Pulitzer (winners are announced April 5), he might consider including George W. Bush on his list of people to thank. Like many other liberal cartoonists, Davies has found the president to be a very meaty target when it comes to things like the Iraq quagmire, high unemployment, relaxing of environmental regulations, and other topics.

"I'm not a shill for the Democrats," said the Tribune Media Services-syndicated creator. "As soon as John Kerry does something stupid, I'll go after him. But I'm so appalled at the complete ramrodding of a right-wing agenda. I feel Bush is president of the Republican Party, not the rest of us."

Davies sat at the same table as Bush at last year's Gridiron dinner, for which the cartoonist illustrated the menu. The drawings weren't flattering to the president and his policies, but Bush wrote "fine job" on a menu inscribed to Davies. Beneath the cordiality, said Davies, "I'm sure he was really unhappy" with the art.

Outside the U.S., he added, many people are unhappy with the president. "The perception of Bush is astonishingly low," said Davies, who's personally attuned to this from talking and visiting with family and friends in England and France.

Growing up in England helped give Davies a different sensibility -- including a drier, subtler sense of humor -- than some of his American counterparts. "Cultural differences abound from nation to nation," he said. "But politicians are all the same!"

Cartoons about politicians and other topics are something a dwindling number of papers (fewer than 100) now pay a full-time staffer for. …

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