CHICAGO ( Sept. 3, 2014 ) Nate Beeler has been selected as the 2014 winner of the John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition, for his image in The Columbus Dispatch depicting Lady Justice and Lady Liberty embracing after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ).
The editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch, Beeler is among the most widely syndicated editorial cartoonists in the industry, distributed internationally to more than 800 publications by Cagle Cartoons.
He and the 2013 winner, Matt Bors of Portland, Oregon, will be honored Sept. 17, in conjunction with the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors conference. The Fischetti Award ceremony and reception, Sept. 17, 3-5 p.m., at Phil Stefani's, 437 N. Rush, will be hosted by Columbia College Chicago.
The Fischetti is awarded each year for a single image that depicts a particularly relevant political or social event. John Fischetti was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose work for many years graced the pages of the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. Shortly after his death in 1980, friends and family created the Fischetti fund in Columbia College Chicago's Journalism Department, which has provided scholarships to some 700 students, as well as monetary awards to outstanding editorial cartoonists.
"Most days, an editorial cartoonist will draw his or her inspiration from the latest political gaffe, sex scandal, or flaring debate. The art form's natural territory is criticism," Beeler said about his work and Fischetti-winning image. "( Rarely ) do you chance upon an opportunity to comment on the news in a positive way. I wanted to simultaneously depict and celebrate the happiness experienced by same-sex couples and their supporters across the country."
He added that the court's decision righted an injustice and was an affirmation of both dignity and freedom, which made Lady Justice and Lady Liberty logical icons to use in the cartoon.
Honorable mentions in the 2014 Fischetti competition went to Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune for a unique rendering of icons criticizing NSA spying that, when viewed from a short distance, create a profile of President Obama's face, and to the Miami Herald's Jim Morin for a drawing of agricultural fields with the caption "path to citizenship."
Beeler's cartoons have appeared in such publications as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. His work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and Fox News, where viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" officially voted him a "Pinhead."
Prior to joining the Ohio capital's newspaper in 2012, Beeler drew cartoons for seven years in the nation's capital for The Washington Examiner. Beeler's cartooning path began when he was a sophomore working for his high school's student newspaper in Columbus. While on the way to graduating with a journalism degree from American University in 2002, he won the top college cartooning awards: the Charles M. Schulz Award, the John Locher Award and first place in the SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards.
Beeler's website is www.dispatch.com/beeler and his Twitter account is @NateBeeler .