Two MW Toonists Take Top Honors

Don Chapman
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April 14, 2010
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Congratulations to MidWeek editorial cartoonists Roy Chang and Dick Adair!

Because during the annual Hawaii Publishers Association Pa’i Awards luncheon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village last Thursday, Roy’s “Gnaws” toon from Dec. 16 took top honors for best editorial cartoon of 2009.

And Dick’s “North Korea"from July 22 earned second place. (John Pritchett of Honolulu Weekly was third.)

Judges for the competition - 33 categories for both newsprint and glossy stock publications - were Mainland journalists, chosen to avoid local prejudices. Here are their comments about the two MidWeek contributors.

Regarding Dick’s toon: “This might be one of the strongest and most uncomfortable editorial cartoons in the recent history of the Pa’i Awards. It requires no caption, utterly no explanation. Local (subject matter) comments are usually strongest, but this stark cartoon depiction of starvation and nuclear proliferation speaks very loudly. The cartoon is hard to describe but equally hard to forget.”

And regarding Roy’s: “It’s true, Jaws has been trivialized to death, but the image can still be both evocative and memorable. So it is with the rat that ate the bananas in Chang’s strong editorial cartoon. You can bet the cartoon will not be thumb-tacked to the walls of any of the businesses in the marketplace. A clear winner.”

As MidWeek‘s editor, and as a guy who has loved good editorial cartoons going back to Herb Block when I was a kid, I’m very proud of Roy and Dick, as is all of our MidWeek ohana.

And with the syndicated work of Steve Kelly, who has won national awards and whose work is frequently reprinted in Time and Newsweek among the best of the past week, our editorial cartoons bring readers diverse commentary just as our editorial columns do.

MidWeek brought home another Pa’i Award last week, in the best non-daily newspaper category - third place behind Honolulu Weekly (second) and Pacific Business News.

Judges said of MidWeek: “A massive multi-edition weekly that does it all - cover stories, columns, calendars, comics, Q-andA features ... it’s all here. Solid design, nice use of color. A fun community weekly that’s thorough and user-friendly.”

While we are gratified by the respect and recognition of fellow journalism professionals, quite frankly the judges who matter most to us are our readers - the half-million of you who every week pick up MidWeek and vote with your eyes and your page-turning fingers. It is each of you who make this the best-read publication in Hawaii. With our readership continuing to grow even in tough times, we are very grateful for each of you.

This year’s Pa’i Awards, I must say, were somewhat bittersweet. The level of talent and professionalism in Hawaii journalism on display - the top three in each category were projected onto a big screen - was phenomenal. Great writing, great photography and great page design were evident everywhere. I’m proud to be associated with - and to compete against - people who care so much about doing good journalism. That’s the sweet part. The bitter is that everyone knew that next year at this time there could be just one daily newspaper in Our Town, and some folks there could be out jobs.

Whatever shakes out, you can be sure that all of us at MidWeek will continue to strive to be Hawaii’s best paper.

I was also proud of our cousins at the Star-Bulletin, who won a ton of awards.

In particular, congrats to Dave Reardon, S-B sports columnist, who took third place in the editorial column category, open to columnists of all types (based on three columns submitted to judges).

In typical Dave style, he brushed off any praise: “All it means is, I had three good days last year.”

Ol’ droll Dave is good at understatement too.

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