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[1991 · Cincinnati Enquirer · Editorial Cartooning]

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BORGMAN TACKLED CENSORSHIP, SEXISM AND THE GULF WAR

Controversial yet beloved, Jim Borgman spent 32 years drawing editorial cartoons for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1991, the day before the Enquirer’s 150th anniversary.

Though his cartoons often ran left of the city’s more conservative leanings, the people of Cincinnati enjoyed both Borgman’s editorial work and his work on the comic strip “Zits,” which he continues to produce

Borgman began drawing for the Enquirer one week after graduating from Kenyon College in 1976 and won his Pulitzer 15 years later.

The Cincinnati Enquirer submitted 10 cartoons to the Pulitzer committee, tackling censorship, sexism and the Gulf War. One cartoon questioned the effectiveness of the blockade against Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, comparing it to tying a noose around a sapling tree and waiting for the tree to grow up and eventually tightening the noose.

After the phone call informing him of his win, Borgman told the Enquirer reporter covering the story, “Boy, that feels good.”

Born in Cincinnati, Borgman often used his cartoons for critical commentaries on the state of his native city. In another of his Pulitzer-submitted cartoons, he depicts the Cincinnati schools as a skeleton lying in a hospital bed, covered in now-useless bandages.

Still, Borgman had a soft spot for the city and its residents. He poked good-natured fun at what he called in his 2008 farewell column marking his retirement from the Enquirer the “doughy, big-hearted Cincinnatians” he often drew.

Later in the column, Borgman wrote, “I’ve poured my blood and bones into a job which, if done well, looks effortless and whimsical.”

by Annie Furia
PULITZER ENTRY MATERIALS:

Click the slideshow below to see larger versions of the cartoons submitted with Borgman’s entry, or view the cartoons as PDFs here.

MORE INFORMATION:

A special 3-page section celebrating Borgman’s win in the April 10, 1991, Enquirer.

Borgman’s iconic signature.

A collection of Borgman cartoons from his 25 years at the Enquirer.

Final Enquirer Column Sept. 7, 2008

For his 30th anniversary at the Cincinnati Enquirer, Borgman redrew a reader submitted cartoon, while explaining his creative process.