New Brunswick

Moncton-born Michael de Adder receives award for editorial cartoons

A cartoonist from Moncton has won a prestigious U.S. award for excellence in editorial cartooning.

Artist to get U.S. award for cartoons and honorary degree from Mount Allison University

Michael de Adder is a Moncton-born political cartoonist. He's considered one of the most-read cartoonists in the country. (Mairin Prentiss/CBC)

An artist from Moncton has won a prestigious American award for excellence in editorial cartooning on Wednesday. 

Cartoonist Michael de Adder is this year's winner of the Herblock Prize, which was created in 2004 to support editorial cartooning "as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression."

"I still don't know what to think," de Adder said Thursday. "I'm kind of blown away."

De Adder freelances for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the Toronto Star, Ottawa Hill Times and Counterpoint in the U.S. Last July in a much-criticized decision, he was let go from Brunswick News Inc., which publishes most English-language newspapers in New Brunswick.

De Adder said he's the first Canadian to receive the U.S. award, created after the death of widely syndicated political cartoonist Herb Block. The Chicago-born Block won three Pulitzer Prizes for his cartoons. 

In order to be eligible for the award, the recipient must work for a U.S. publication. De Adder's work is published by Counterpoint, a U.S.-based political cartoon newsletter, so he was eligible. 

The cartoonist isn't sure what made the judges select him.

"Canadians have a unique sense of humour and and political cartoonists are very strong in this country and we've taken our Canadian sense of humour south … and I think it's just a slightly different take, a little more humble view of the world."

De Adder's cartoons featuring U.S. President Donald Trump have brought him a larger U.S. audience. (Michael de Adder/Counterpoint)

De Adder's work, which often features U.S. President Donald Trump, has grown in popularity in the United States in recent years.

Brunswick News parted ways with de Adder just days after a cartoon depicting Donald Trump playing golf next to the bodies of two migrants went viral.

BNI has maintained de Adder was not let go because of that cartoon.

In this de Adder cartoon, climate change activist Greta Thunberg waters a flower. (Michael de Adder/Counterpoint)

The winner of the Herblock Prize is determined by a panel of outside experts. The winner receives a tax-free $15,000 prize and a sterling silver trophy. 

De Adder heads to the Library of Congress in Washington next month to receive the award. 

De Adder released this cartoon last June 26 of Trump next to a father and daughter who died trying to cross the border into Texas. (Michael de Adder)

The Herblock Prize isn't the only recognition de Adder received this week. 

Mount Allison University, de Adder's alma mater, named him one of its honorary degree recipients on Tuesday. 

The other degree recipients include librarian Margaret Fancy, businessmen Scott McCain and Robert M. Ogilvie, and author and photographer Beth Powning.

With files from Information Morning Moncton


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