Clay Bennett Wins 2005 Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition

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All three top cartoons address Iraq WarÂ?Awards Ceremony, Party & Auction Set for April 7

Editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett of The Christian Science Monitor is the winner of the 2005 John Fischetti Award. This is the second Fischetti Award for Bennett, who also won in 2001. Honorable mentions went to Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Nick Anderson of The Louisville Courier-Journal. Bennett and Breen are both past recipients of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning; Anderson won the Fischetti Award in 1999. The 23-year-old competition is sponsored by Columbia College Chicago.

The winning cartoons, along with two dozen original cartoons submitted by past Fischetti winners and others culled from the Fischetti archives, will be exhibited and auctioned on April 7. Student winners of the college’s Paula Pfeffer and Cheryl Johnson-Odim Political Cartoon Competition will also be honored that evening. Their work, which is also for sale, will be shown alongside that of the professionals.

The Fischetti/Pfeffer ‘05 celebration of editorial cartooning will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo Avenue, Chicago. Individual tickets are $35. For reservations call 312-344-7936. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Fischetti Endowment, which provides scholarships to Columbia College Chicago journalism students and student cartoonists.

All three Fischetti-winning cartoons reflect turmoil over the war in Iraq. Bennett’s First Place cartoon shows servicemen, in a posture reminiscent of the famous photograph of World War II soldiers planting the American Flag on Iwo Jima, propping up a house of cards, with the word “IRAQ” on the back of each card. Anderson’s cartoon depicts a grinning President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney driving a steam roller over crushed debris, labeled “Environment,” “Fiscal Responsibility,” “Civility,” “Geneva Conventions” and “We the People.” Breen’s cartoon shows Osama Bin Laden standing amidst a huge crowd of Muslim men, hoisting the now-familiar image of an Abu Ghraib torture victim high overhead. The caption reads, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand New Al-Quaeda Recruits…”

More than 200 cartoons by 72 cartoonists, all published in 2004, were submitted and given careful scrutiny by the panel of judges, which included three prominent cartoonists. The 2005 award carries a $5,000 cash prize for the winner. All three finalists are flown to Chicago for the Annual Fischetti Awards ceremony and reception. Bennett, Breen and Anderson will be also be honored on April 6 at the annual Studs Terkel Awards Benefit, sponsored by the Community Media Workshop.

John Fischetti was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose work was published in the New York Herald-Tribune, the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. Shortly after his death in 1980, friends created the endowment in his honor, which has helped educate more than 400 students, many of them now award-winning journalists. More information is available at

The Paula Pfeffer and Cheryl Johnson-Odim Political Cartoon Contest for Columbia students was established three years ago to engage students in current political discourse and provide them an opportunity to express their artistic and analytical skills. Endowed by Columbia lifetime trustee Samuel Pfeffer, the contest is co-sponsored by the Columbia Chronicle student newspaper and the departments of Liberal Education, Art and Design, Journalism and the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Also new this year is a public discussion on the future of editorial cartooning, Lampooning for a Living. The event takes place from noon to 2 p.m., at the HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. The 2005 Fischetti Cartoon Competition Award winners will be joined by cartoonists Chris Britt of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois, Steve Kelley of the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and Ann Telnaes of Washington, D.C., who is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media Services. The symposium is co-sponsored by The State Journal-Register and the Journalism Department of Columbia College Chicago. (For more detailed information on this event, please see the separate news release.)

Columbia College Chicago, an urban institution committed to open access, opportunity and excellence in higher education, provides innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1890 as a communications school for women, Columbia College Chicago was revisioned in 1963 as a liberal arts college with a “hands-on minds-on” approach to arts and media education and a progressive social agenda. Under the current leadership of President Warrick L. Carter, Ph.D. Columbia is aggressively pursuing this mission. Through the diversity of its students and graduates, the school brings a rich vision and multiplicity of voices to American culture. For further information visit

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