News & Politics

Politico’s Pulitzer-Winning Cartoonist Will Host a Virtual Cartoon Workshop

Starting Wednesday, Matt Wuerker promises instruction "Somewhere between Mo Willems and the New Yorker."

Wuerker. Photograph courtesy Politico.
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If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at cartooning, Politico staff cartoonist Matt Wuerker will hold a virtual workshop Wednesday at noon. Registration is free. Wuerker, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his work, recently held a private virtual session that was popular with his coworkers’ kids, and decided to open up the next one to the public.

Wuerker has lots of experience teaching: He’s taught at UCLA and at a men’s prison in California. (The children of his colleagues, he notes, are less interested in applying the techniques he teaches to tattooing, though he notes “in some similar circumstance they’re sort of locked up” as well.) 

The child of a Politico coworker taking Wuerker’s last session.

You may eventually emerge a fully trained political cartoonist afterward, and Politico hopes to do more of these sessions, but Wuerker says he’s initially going to concentrate on how to express yourself, how to “tame the line,” and how to do basic shading. The workshops were inspired by Mo Willems’s “Lunch Doodle” videos on the Kennedy Center’s website. He promises an approach “Somewhere between Mo Willems and the New Yorker.”

“I’m not trying to teach people the Matt Wuerker technique,” he  tells Washingtonian. “I’m trying to loosen people up.”

If you’d like to take part in the 30-minute session, Wuerker advises having ten sheets of copier paper and a pen handy. “If you’re a real coward, you can use a pencil,” he says. After line basics, the class will move on to animals—donkeys and elephants, natch, as well as faces. Maybe presidential candidates if there’s time. Wuerker will look at the work that comes out of the session afterword. Who knows: “We could discover the new Herblock or something,” he says.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.