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Free Expression Cartoon Contest Winners Announced

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-First Prize ($2500) to Alexander Matthews of Wokingham, Berkshire, UK for his one-panel cartoon "Altar Boys." Lead judge Steve Benson said of this cartoon: "Wickedly humorous, brutally direct, effectively and simply rendered. A stinging indictment of the Catholic Church's pedophilic priest scandal that allows absolutely no room for the predictable apologetic defense. Left me laughing and wincing at the same time!"

-Second Prize ($1250) to Doug Davis of Los Angeles, California, for his one-panel cartoon "Memes." This entry needs to be seen in color for full effect. Said Benson: "Dramatic art of the empty-eyed victim who has fallen prey to what Richard Dawkins calls religion's 'virus of the mind.' Employs the over-the-top hype of a B movie advertising billboard to make its point. Good use of contrast and color. Scary!"

-Third Prize ($750) to Jack Pollock of Portland, Oregon, for his multipanel cartoon "Want a Less Secular, More Faithful America?" Benson said of this entry: "A sweeping commentary on the negative effects of religion on society- from law, to science, to war, to culture. Normally, I prefer more art to less text but in this case the artist has combined both in a nice mix of humor and bite that exposes the ridiculousness of faith in daily, practical life, This cartoon requires concentration and an understanding of important current events, which is always a good thing!"

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