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Nick Anderson

NPF Award Winner: Nick Anderson - Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson 2011

The Houston Chronicle

Nick Anderson joined The Houston Chronicle as editorial cartoonist in February of 2006. Anderson’s philosophy: “An editorial cartoonist, fundamentally, should be anti-establishment. No matter which party is running the government, it is the essence of satire to question authority.” His loose, idiosyncratic style carries with it an unconventional message that has broad appeal.

In 2005, Anderson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The judges complimented his "unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages." He takes great care and effort with those messages. "I think Nick deserved this [award] for a long time," says Alan Shearer, editorial director of The Washington Post Writers Group, which distributes Anderson's cartoons.

In fact, Anderson has pioneered a method of coloring his cartoons. Using an advanced computer program, he creates digital paintings characterized by subtle textures and striking images. Because of his innovative use of the program, its manufacturer, Corel Corporation, has designated Anderson a "Painter Master."

Anderson majored in political science at Ohio State University and was editorial cartoonist for the school's newspaper, The Lantern. In 1989, he won the Charles M. Schulz Award for best college cartoonist. He interned one summer at The Louisville Courier-Journal, which immediately recognized his talent. After his graduation from OSU, the newspaper created a position for him as an associate editorial cartoonist and illustrator. Anderson was promoted to chief editorial cartoonist in 1995 and was syndicated by the Writers Group a year later. After 15 years with the Courier-Journal, in 2006 Anderson accepted a position at the Houston Chronicle.

Anderson grew up in Toledo, Ohio, in a family that encouraged independent thinking in politics. His father, a scientist, didn't like the mathematical odds of his son becoming a cartoonist, but at age 15 Anderson started drawing cartoons for his high school newspaper and immediately knew his calling. "I figured the chances of being an editorial cartoonist were pretty slim, but I didn't want to go to my deathbed without trying," he said.

In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Sigma Delta Chi award in 2000, the 1999 Fischetti Award, and first-place honors for editorial cartooning in the Best of Gannett Awards in 1996, 1997 and 1999. Anderson's cartoons have been published in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers.
In his spare time, Anderson enjoys mountain biking, cycling, water skiing and rollerblading. In 1988 he cycled across the country from Oregon to Massachusetts. He lives in Houston with his sons, Colton and Travis, whose names Anderson hides in each of his cartoons.

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