Matt Davies is the 2019 Herblock Prize winner for editorial cartooning. He is the first recipient to receive the award a second time.
In 2004, Davies received the first-ever Herblock Prize, followed by that year’s Pulitzer Prize. He has also won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism prize and the 2017 National Headliner Award. Davies has been a runner-up/finalist for the Pulitzer Prize two additional times, in 2011 and 2016.
Davies currently works for Newsday in New York and his cartoons are syndicated internationally by Andrews McMeel and appear on GoComics. His work has also been featured in multiple newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and USA Today, as well as popular publications, such as Newsweek, Time magazine and Mad Magazine.
In addition to editorial cartooning, Davies is an author and illustrator of children’s books. His first book, Ben Rides On, was a Kirkus best book of 2013, and his subsequent children’s literary work has received critical acclaim.
The Herb Block Foundation annually awards the Herblock Prize for “distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herb Block,” who was the longtime editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post.
The judges for this year’s contest were Ward Sutton, cartoonist, illustrator and 2018 Herblock Prize winner; Ann Telnaes, editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post and first woman to have received both the Reuben Award and the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning; and Sara W. Duke, curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art at the Library of Congress.
According to The Herb Block Foundation, the judges were impressed by Davies’ extensive range and his ability to illustrate topics with “succinct precision and visual wit.” The adjudicators praised his work, citing several standouts, including Washington Emolument, Trust and GoFundMe.
“Any hesitance on the part of the judges to break precedent by awarding a previous winner was overcome by the strength and consistency of Davies’ portfolio,” the organization said. “A veteran editorial cartoonist working at the top of his game, Davies has a unique, trademark style of drawing that effectively conveys humor without making light of the serious issues at hand.”
Clay Jones, whose cartoons also appear on GoComics, is the 2019 Herblock Finalist. The judges found his work to be refreshingly unique, on point and very funny.
“Clay doesn’t really need to sign his work — there is no mistaking a Clay Jones cartoon,” said The Herb Block Foundation. “Working in large panels with colorful, stylized drawing, Jones creates cartoons full of visual details, gags and punchlines that point out the absurdities of the times we’re living through. Jones often cuts through conventional narratives of news events to illuminate the subtext that many of us are thinking, whether we’re conscious of it or not.”