Kevin Siers may have won the Pulitzer Prize for his work at The Charlotte Observer, but he knows first hand the effect local cartoons can have. "I’ve followed an issue and kept hammering at it, and felt those cartoons contributed to change in the community. And, at least in one instance, drove the target of those cartoons nuts. The director of Charlotte’s county health department reportedly threw a chair across his office after seeing how his department’s inefficiency and incompetence was portrayed in one of my cartoons. The county soon replaced him." After 30+ years at the North Carolina paper, Siers clearly knows which buttons to push.
[Throughout his life, Rex Babin championed those who focused on state and local issues in editorial cartoons, a field that he and other cartoonists felt was regularly overlooked by journalism contests. The "Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning" was launched in 2017 to celebrate those working in this niche. To that end, we will be showcasing each cartoonist who entered the contest this year, one or two each day in alphabetical order (more or less), leading up to the AAEC Convention in Sacramento, CA, and the announcement of the award winner on Saturday, Sept. 22.]