by BK Munn

Michael De Adder, the fearless Canadian political cartoonist who was fired from his long standing post with the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal chain of papers for his Trump cartoons, is this year’s winner of the Herblock Prize, a $15,000 prize named for U.S. editorial cartoonist Herb Block (1909-2001) and granted “to encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression.”

These days De Adder works freelance, syndicating his work worldwide, as well as contributing to The Nib and Counterpoint.

According to the judges for the Herb Block Foundation that administers the prize,  “There were many strong submissions in this moment of political crisis in America. The judges ultimately chose Michael de Adder for his elegant yet concise draftsmanship and his ability to distill complex issues into impactful visual statements. De Adder, who recently lost his job due to criticism of the American president, embodies Herblock’s standard of courageous independence, as defined in the award.”

The Herblock site contains a short bio of De Adder:

After freelancing for a few years, de Adder landed his first full time cartooning job at the Halifax Daily News. After the Daily News folded in 2008, he became the full-time freelance cartoonist at New Brunswick Publishing. He was let go in 2019 for his political views with one of these being his cartoons depicting U.S. President Donald Trump’s boarder policies. He now freelances for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the Toronto Star, Ottawa Hill Times and Counterpoint in the USA. He has over a million readers per day and is considered the most read cartoonist in Canada.

Michael de Adder has won numerous awards for his work. This includes seven Atlantic Journalism Awards plus a Gold Innovation Award for news animation in 2008. He won the Association of Editorial Cartoonists’ 2002 Golden Spike Award for best editorial cartoon spiked by an editor and the Association of Canadian Cartoonists 2014 Townsend Award. The National Cartoonists Society for the Reuben Award has shortlisted him in the Editorial Cartooning category. He is a past president of the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists and spent 10 years on the board of the Cartoonists Rights Network.