Cartoonist extraordinaire Steve Sack is this year’s recipient of the Ink Bottle Award from the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
The award is presented by the AAEC to individuals or groups for dedication to the spirit of the profession and significant contribution to the art of editorial cartooning.
Sack, the long-time staff cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, announced his retirement earlier this year. While he was the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, among cartoonists he is better known as a mentor, a confidant, and an artist who continuously reinvented himself, pushing both medium and technology into new areas.
The award was announced Saturday, Oct. 8, at the AAEC’s annual convention, held during the CXC Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Ward Sutton, accepting the Ink Bottle for Steve Sack (who could not attend the festival due to a family emergency) said, “He’s been the long-time cartoonist for the Star-Tribune, which was the paper I read growing up — and to me that was the model of what an editorial cartoonist was.”
Sutton, now a cartoonist for The New Yorker, The Village Voice and The Onion, continued: “Steve was personally so kind to me when I first started out with my very first cartoon in an alternative newsweekly in Minneapolis, and sat down and wrote me a letter and told me how much he liked them and encouraged me to keep going.
“I kept that letter and in the ensuing years we became friends, and I’m so grateful to him.”
AAEC President Kevin Necessary noted, “Steve Sack has been a longtime anchor of the editorial cartooning profession. Not only has his work been among the best in the country, Steve has provided friendship and support to many cartoonists. He embodies the highest ideals of the AAEC: Someone who creates brilliantly drawn, sharp cartoons and and is an advocate for our craft.”
Sutton added, “He was feted in Minneapolis at the Twins baseball stadium and the governor was there and they had Steve Sack Night, and — he’s probably too Minnesota humble to talk about that — but he got quite a reception.”