By Diego Ramos, ScheerPost Managing Editor
Witnessing a weekly cache of Mr. Fish’s work left all of us at ScheerPost unsurprised the moment we heard his name called yet again as the winner for Best Editorial Cartoon at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 65th annual Southern California Journalism awards gala on Sunday. His prize-winning drawing “Portion Control” illustrated Chris Hedges’ column “The Age of Self-Delusion” last May. ScheerPost had finalists in nine categories and won three top awards. The judging was done by members of press clubs from around the country.
Below you can see the inked version of the cartoon, before any color was added, as well as the finished first place product above.
“The message is sad and clear, the drawing is stunning!” the judges remarked.
Chris Hedges, who has written an original column for ScheerPost since its inception, won second place in the online columnist category for a body of work on his illuminative and thought provoking coverage of some of the most critical issues of our time, including global war and catastrophe, U.S. imperialism, press freedom and Julian Assange, and prison reform.
In addition, Ellen Brown, a ScheerPost columnist who specializes in writing about the economy, won second place for “online non-political commentary” for “The Coming Global Financial Revolution: Russia Is Following the American Playbook,” one of ScheerPost’s most read stories last year.
Amidst the doom and gloom of many ScheerPost news stories, there exists a constant opportunity to take a momentary break and approach topics such as nuclear war, the erosion of press freedom and environmental destruction with a touch of wit, banter, and artistic beauty.
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Within this realm, the legendary and invaluable Mr. Fish provides us with a unique perspective on the darker aspects of humanity, one that transcends mere words. The emotion, gravity and rawness of the news we consume find their most powerful expression through the medium of art and the incomparable Mr. Fish is second to none — the second year in a row for the LA Press Club Awards.
Following this grand success, we figured it’s a perfect opportunity to honor the man himself, especially with the second edition of his book, Nobody Left, featuring never before seen bonus material, out now. Also, feel free to check out the 2016 short film by Pablo Bryant (shown above), which has never been available to the public… until now.
So anyway Fish, grace us with a little victory speech, why do you do what you do?
By Mr. Fish (also known as Dwayne Booth)
Well, it should be obvious by now, especially to those of us who self-identify as lifelong news and information junkies, that there has been a significant change in recent years as to how consumers of journalism receive information. Content aside, with the demise of the newspaper industry and the rise of technologies designed to fractionalize our conversations on all topics of significance, there has been a seismic shift from longer form journalism to something much more abbreviated, resulting in an ever-expanding population of readers conditioned to be intolerant of any narrative longer than the average car, cosmetic, or candidate commercial.
For so many of us, particularly the young who are just now learning how to cut their teeth on what it means to be a well-informed citizen trapped inside a sinking democracy, one that will require all hands on deck in order save it, facing what looks like an over-simplification of the complexities of our historical and political landscapes and an abridgement of what our responsibilities might insist we confront as first responders to a slow-motion doomsday that is threatening to consume us all feels daunting for sure, but it doesn’t have to.
At a time when political journalism, like all reporting and commentary, has been altered by the consolidation of news and information outlets as corporate mergers gain more and more control over content and free and autonomous and potentially anti-authoritarian voices are crowded out by high-profile and low-fruit-grabbing powerbrokers that prioritize profit over people, ScheerPost, thankfully, is here to be both praised and supported for remaining an essential voice for the independent perspective on all the cultural and governmental happenings that shape our lives and frame our fates in the modern age.
With the commodification of everything under the sun by mega corporate news organizations that will never correctly point out the dangers of hierarchy, super-capitalism, and the pacifying narratives on offer from mainstream headlines and apologists for mediocrity in all its many forms, it is absolutely essential that we continuously and tirelessly remind each other of our obligation to truth-telling and journalistic honesty, which has been the mission of ScheerPost since its inception and the reason why the site can now, thanks to you, boast of more than 10 million page views.
So why do I work for ScheerPost as a cartoonist? Well, aside from being the only one on staff able to draw, there is no more satisfying place for concerned and well-informed citizens, activists, contrarians, students, intellectuals, and radically minded riffraff to congregate and to engage in open and free conversation and joyous debate over the most pressing and important issues of the day than here.
None of which could happen without your continued support, by the way, so thank you.