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Jim Morin (born in Washington, D.C.) is the internationally syndicated editorial cartoonist at the Miami Herald since 1978 and a painter, usually working in the medium of oil, of more than 40 years. Morin won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1996, he shared the Pulitzer with the Miami Herald Editorial Board in 1983 and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1977 and 1990. In 2007, he won the prestigious Herblock Prize.
Internationally he has won the Thomas Nast Award, given every three years. Nationally, he has also been awarded the 2000 John Fischetti Award, the 1996 National Press Foundation Berryman Award, the 1992 National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award, and the Overseas Press Club Awards in 1990 and 1979.
He is syndicated nationally and internationally by his own, Morintoons Syndicate, at http://www.jimmorin.com. He was previously syndicated by CWS/The New York Times Syndicate for some seven years and by King Features Syndicate for some 24 years.
He is also the author of several books: "Line of Fire, Political Cartoons by Jim Morin," "Bushed" and "Ambushed." (The latter two cartoon collections contained words by Walter C. Clements.) His work has also been shown in compendiums of political cartoons and on the PBS documentary, "The American Presidents." Morin's watercolor work is evident in his book, "Jim Morin's Field Guide to Birds."
Upon awarding the Herblock Prize to Morin, Harry Katz, the Herb Block Foundation curator, praised Morin for his "impressive, unrelenting barrage of cartoons and caricatures displaying artistry, courage and conviction."
His cartoons have been exhibited worldwide, most recently at the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum, where he spoke to a packed and standing audience. His retrospective exhibition of cartoons at the International Museum of Cartoon Art hung for nine months due to popular demand.
Morin's cartoons and caricatures run in newspapers in states including New York, Alaska, Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, California, Michigan, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Texas, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, in national magazines, various books and on Internet sites and magazines. His cartoons have included extensive comment on eight U.S. presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Morin has been interviewed on CNN, WFOR, NPR, Sky News (the 24-hour European television news station), Comcast Newsmakers and several other television programs.
Morin commented on his cartoon work prior to the 2008 election: "The consensus among cartoonists is that caricature is created solely through exaggerating physical features relative to the appearance of the subject. I've never agreed with this slide-rule approach. Caricature is a visual commentary on what kind of man or woman that politician is. Just as important as physical appearance is how they sound, what they say, what they stand for, their accomplishments or lack thereof, and so on. Caricatures are not mere likenesses; they are psychological portraits that stem from something deeper than human anatomy.
"Cartoonists are always asked during an election how they like drawing candidates. The better time to ask this question is four years after the election. Caricatures evolve over time the same way an administration does. My George W. Bush drawings when he was running in 1999 are a far cry from what they are now. With each scandal, screw-up, flip-flop and outrage, he grew angrier, meaner and very much smaller. When Gerald Ford first took over the presidency, cartoonists were whining about his 'dull' physical appearance. Yet when Ford tripped down the stairs of Air Force One, at the same time proposing to fight against inflation with WIN buttons, those caricatures of him started to gel really fast. Richard Nixon? Say no more! He's the perfect storm of personality, policy and appearance.
"Hillary was (and will be) a great joy to draw. She has always struck me as someone playing a leader as opposed to actually being one. Her speeches sound as if she is trying to be someone else—JFK, Roosevelt, Reagan, Bill or Barack. The phoniness is inescapable. Cartoonists focus on her rabbit-like front teeth, but for me Hillary's ruthless ambition can be seen in her piercing eyes. The only downside of her: her ever-changing hairstyle drives caricaturists nuts.
"McCain is fun to draw because we know him already to some extent: the 'maverick,' independent thinker, unpredictability, volcanic temper, goofiness, bad jokes. After having drawn him many times, I once put a very long distance between the bottom of his nose and his mouth. For some reason, it worked, it visually said 'John McCain.' That exaggeration makes no sense when you measure his facial features, but it feels appropriate when you hear the sound of his voice.
"Barack Obama is problematic because we don't know him yet and therefore have little of substance to go on. Race, by the way, has nothing to do with it. Caricature is colorblind, and everyone is treated with equal malice. The more Obama resorts to platitudes, flip-flops, verbal bumbles and fumbles, the more his caricature will evolve and stretch. This current lack of familiarity is one reason why drawings of Obama are now fairly literal with little exaggeration. If he is elected, that will change and it will be a change you can believe in."
Morin has only in recent years begun to show his paintings. The Coral Springs Museum of Art exhibited a large body of his work in its two-month show, "Jim Morin -- Art of Politics Drawings & Paintings" in 2008. His canvasses have been exhibited in Miami group shows at the Museum of Science, the Art Collector's Gallery, the Don Webb Gallery, the Virginia Miller Gallery and Patou Fine Art. He had a one-man show at the Futernick Gallery in Miami in 2006. On the web, his paintings can be viewed on his website and at that of Absolute Arts.
Morin began drawing at age seven. As an avid watcher of the television cartoons of the day (particularly the work of Hanna-Barbera), Morin began to develop his own cartoon characters, some of which were registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office by his father, attorney Charles H. Morin. He attended the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts and Suffield Academy in Connecticut, and studied painting and drawing at Syracuse University under Jerome Witkin. "He was the only teacher I had who saw cartoons as paintings, as art," Morin says. "Painting has made me more conscious...my paintings affect my drawings and vice versa." During his time at Syracuse, he was the editorial cartoonist for The Daily Orange. Following college, Morin served a brief stint as the editorial cartoonist at the The Beaumont Enterprise before moving on to Richmond, Virginia, where he spent one year as the editorial cartoonist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. During his time in Richmond, Morin became a close professional acquaintance of Jeff MacNelly, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist at the Richmond News Leader. Upon MacNelly's passing in 2000, Morin accepted the invitation of colleague Dave Barry to contribute to A quiet genius: remembering Jeff MacNelly.
Morin was raised in the Boston suburb of Wayland. He lives with his wife, the writer, Danielle Flood, in Florida.
- Morin, Jim. "The Art of Cartooning the Candidates With Malic Toward ALL." The Miami Herald, Sept. 7, 2008.
- Bramson, Dara. "Crossover Cartoonist." Miami Monthly, February, 2007.
- Pulitzer Prize
- NCS Awards