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Handelsman speaks as part of Flagler Forum

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Walt Handelsman

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Walt Handelsman spoke at the Flagler Forum lecture series on Feb. 11. Photos by Perry Knotts.

Feb. 11, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Walt Handelsman spoke to an entertained audience last night in the Lewis Auditorium as part of the Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy lecture series.

Handlesman, now of the New Orleans Advocate, spoke on a number of topics and gave the audience an inside peek at his process which begins with reading every newspaper and blog he can a hold of.

"Coming up with content is always easy," said Handelsman. "My script is written for me every day."

Handelsman explained that the hard part was making it funny.

"It's like you're in a group of friends and you're discussing something like Obamacare. Someone will make a joke and then someone else will make an even funnier joke," he said. "I have that same interaction with myself everyday."

Handelsman went on to share some of his favorite cartoons and animations with the audience on subjects ranging from healthcare, gun legislation and immigration to the NSA and Duck Dynasty.

During his lecture, “Deadlines and Headlines: Cartoons and Animations with Walt Handelsman,” the two-time Pulitzer winner explained that in all his work, his main motivation was fear.

"The engine that drives me has always been sheer panic," joked Handelsman. "I get so worried that the thousands of people who see my cartoon will hate me that I have to succeed."

One of the mostly widely reprinted cartoonists in America, Handelsman’s work can be seen in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. He has been a featured guest on CNN, FOX and ABC’s “Nightline.” Prior to working for the Advocate, Handelsman had worked for Newsday since 2001.

Handelsman is the author of seven collections of his editorial cartoons as well as a children’s book published in 1995 and has won every major journalism award for cartooning excellence including: the 1989 and 1993 National Headliner Award, the 1992 Society of Professional Journalists Award, the 1996 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the 2003 Scripps Howard National Journalism Award and in 1997 and 2007, the Pulitzer Prize. In 2007, he became the first person to win the Pulitzer Prize for animation.

Walt Handelsman