editorial cartooning award

2017 Locher Winner Announced


Congratulations to Damian Alexander for winning the 2017 Locher Award!

"Through compelling and brutally honest storytelling, Damian's entries successfully make the personal political. His comic about his teenage self thinking he had AIDS simply because he was gay speaks to the importance of media representation. His meditations on technology and suicide are also thoughtful and socially-relevant." 


"I'm gay. That means I have AIDS, right?" originally appeared on Narratively, where you can read his other submissions on suicidal ideation and technology

Damian Alexander of Boston, MA is a graduate student at Simmons College. His illustrations often highlight personal experiences with social equality, LGBTQ issues, and mental health. Damian's comics have appeared on Narratively, and gone viral on tumblr. He has also been a contributing writer to Polygon, Teen Vogue, and others, highlighting social issues in mainstream media. Damian is currently working on a graphic memoir about LGBTQ issues and his experiences with mental health. You can find more of his work at damianimated.com

Honorable Mentions

The judges would also like to highlight the work of three honorable mentions: 

 1. Madeleine Witt

Read Under the Water at Guernica Magazine, and check out her website.



2. James Tsiridis

See more of his cartoons and illustrations at his website



 3. Moaz Elemam

Read Distant Fires at The Nib, and check out his website.

Distant Fires.jpeg


The judges said:

Few of the entries registered as "editorial cartoons" in the traditional sense. The honorable mentions were typical of the inventive story-telling that characterized many of this year's entries.  Madeleine Witt's multi-panel depiction of a family in transit echoed Biblical illustrations. James Tsiridis came closest to editorial cartooning with his funny/telling image of Jesus asking if the person he was going to heal had any pre-existing conditions. Moaz Eleman moved us with his fierce, unsentimental portrayal of the Sudan.  In other entries, he experimented with animation. These artists are pushing editorial cartooning in new directions. We look forward to seeing where they go as their drawing strengthens to match their story telling. 


This year's judges included:

Jen Sorenson

Jen Sorenson is a nationally-published political cartoonist and comics editor. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Find her work at Jensorensen.com.

Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson is the editorial cartoonist for the Detroit Free Press. His work has won numerous honors, including The 2002 Overseas Press Club Award for cartooning, the national 2000 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, the 2000 National Press Foundation Award, the H.L. Mencken award and the national Women in Communications Clarion Award. Find his work at the Detroit Free Press.

Signe Wilkinson

Signe Wilkinson is the editorial cartoonist at the Philadelphia Daily News. Signe's honors include the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning (the first woman to win this award), the 1997, 2001 and 2007 Overseas Press Club Award, the 2002 RFK Award and she has the distinction of having been named "the Pennsylvania state vegetable substitute" by the former speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Her cartoons are syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. You can find her work at the Philadelphia Daily News.


Thank you to our judges, SPX, The CTN Animation eXpo, and everyone who submitted to the Locher Award! 

Locher Award Winner Announced!

The Locher Award Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Locher Award, Devon Manney. The runner-up is Vanessa Barajas.


Devon Manney is a 21-year-old artist, currently studying animation at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. His editorial cartoons, published weekly by the Daily Trojan, deal with a wide array of socio-political issues, including campaign pandering, modern mass media, and the reprehensible Oompa-Loompa masquerading as the GOP’s presidential candidate. His cartoons, illustrations, and films can be found at his website, devonmanney.com.


Vanessa Barajas is a Chicago-based cartoonist and illustrator.  You can find more of her cartoons on her website,  vanessavaladez.com



Judging the award this year was Ann Telnaes (the Washington Post), Matt Bors (The Nib) and Scott Stantis (Chicago Tribune). We received a tremendous response to the award this year, and the Locher Award Committee would like to thank everyone who applied. We would also like to thank the Creative Talent Network for providing the winner with a pass to the CTN Expo.



Updated Guidelines and Application Process

Locher logo.jpg


The John Locher Memorial Award is now open for submissions! We have made some exciting changes to the guidelines and submission process this year.

Starting this year, the guidelines have been broadened to encompasses all full-time student cartoonists - including web cartoonists, and graphic journalists with an emphasis on political or social issues. The application is now entirely online - it takes about 5 minutes and it's free to apply.

We look forward to seeing this year’s submissions!

If you have any questions, please email locheraward@gmail.com.

Dan Nott

Locher Award Manager