Humor's Edge Pulitzer Prize-winning Cartoons by Ann Telnaes

In 2001 Ann Telnaes became the second woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. One of the few women in this highly competitive field, Telnaes creates some of today's boldest political cartoons. She works in a striking, streamlined style that enhances her incisive views on national and international issues, which often pertain to First Amendment issues such as civil and human rights. Telnaes is a freelancer whose award winning cartoons appear regularly in the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Austin American-Statesman, and other highly regarded newspapers. Her pointed commentary, wit, and elegant style appeal to these publications' millions of readers.

Born in 1960 in Stockholm, Telnaes became a U.S. citizen at the age of thirteen. She completed a B.F.A. at the California Institute for the Arts in 1984 and began her career in animation, moving gradually into editorial cartooning as she became increasingly politicized. By 1992 her political cartoons began to be published regularly in newspapers. She moved to Washington, D.C., in 1993 and began to devote herself primarily to political cartooning.

In her drawings Telnaes consistently upholds the finest tradition of the “ungentlemanly art” of graphic satire, in that she forcefully addresses controversial, complicated subjects. She has produced a body of cartoons that spans a broad but distinctive spectrum of key issues and events that include the status of civil rights, the separation of church and state, the presidential election of 2000, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, over-consumption, corporate scandals, the ongoing denial of basic rights to women in Africa and the Middle East, and the wars waged by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Telnaes won the Pulitzer Prize for a group of cartoons that focused mainly on the contentious presidential election of 2000. Her other honors include Best Cartoonist at the Population Institute XVIIth Global Media Awards (1996) and Best Editorial Cartoonist at the Sixth Annual Environmental Media Awards (1996); the National Headliner Award for Editorial Cartoons (1997); and the Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation (2003). In addition to her cartoons syndicated by Tribune Media Services, Telnaes publishes a weekly “commentoon” in Women's eNews and is one of six women who contributes regularly to Six Chix, a comic strip distributed by King Features Syndicate.