Background about Signe Wilkinson
The early years - Signe Wilkinson was born
in the depths of the baby boom and graduated from her suburban Philadelphia
high school about the same year the SAT scores began their slide. After acquiring a BA in English from a western university of middling
academic reputation, Wilkinson was unprepared for real work ...
so she became a reporter,
stringing for the West
Chester (PA) Daily Local News. She also worked for the
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and with a housing
project in Cyprus, a job that ended with a bang when a coup d'etat
was followed by a military invasion from Turkey. Since then, Wilkinson
has felt that a little multi-culturalism
goes a long way.
Early cartooning - Back
in the newsroom,
Wilkinson began drawing the people she was supposed to be reporting
on. She realized cartooning combined her interests in art and
politics without taxing her interest in spelling. After a year
of remedial art school, including a stint at the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts, she freelanced at several
Philadelphia and New York publications, finally landing a full-time
job at the San
Jose Mercury News in 1982. After 3 1/2 years on a steep
learning curve, Wilkinson repaid her long-suffering Mercury News
editor by taking a job at the Philadelphia
Daily News, where she has been drawing contentedly ever
since. Her work is recognized for its unique style and famous
Her awards include
Pulitzer Prize (the first woman
to win the prestigious award), the 1991 Berryman Award, the 1997, 2001 and 2007 Overseas
Press Club Award and the 2002 and 2008 RFK
Award. Her most cherished honor was being named "the Pennsylvania state vegetable substitute" by the former
speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1989.
addition to her editorial cartoons,
Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, a groundbreaking family comedy that draws on Wilkinson’s wit (and her years of close personal experience with teenagers). Wilkinson has also drawn Shrubbery, a hybrid comic strip/editorial cartoon that focused on both the
botanical and political landscape plus mulch-based
cartoons for Organic
Gardening magazine, other gardening related illustrations
mortarboard-based cartoons for the Institute for Research on Higher
Education and water-based cartoons for the University
Barge Club newsletter. "
values her intensely unremarkable family life which is
marked by her interest in growing outdoor lilies, killing indoor
orchids and finding an easy way to match her husband's socks.
E-mail Signe Wilkinson.