Jen Sorensen
Jen Sorensen at National Archives and Records Administration McGowan Forum on Communications, 2015.
Born (1974-09-28) September 28, 1974 (age 47)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Notable works
weekly strip under her own name
Awards2017 Pulitzer Finalist
2014 Herblock Prize
2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award

Jen Sorensen (born September 28, 1974, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania) is an American cartoonist and illustrator who authors a weekly comic strip that often focuses on current events from a liberal perspective. Her work appears on the websites Daily Kos, Splinter, The Nib, Politico, AlterNet, and Truthout; and has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Progressive, and The Nation. It also appears in over 20 alternative newsweeklies throughout America.[1] In 2014 she became the first woman to win the Herblock Prize,[2] and in 2017 she was named a Pulitzer Finalist in Editorial Cartooning.[3]


Raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sorensen enrolled in the University of Virginia, where she drew a daily comic strip, Li'l Gus, for its student newspaper, University Journal, from 1994 to 1995, as well as contributing to the satirical magazine The Yellow Journal.

Sorensen soon became published in various comic anthologies, including Action Girl and the Big Book of the 70's. She published her own book, Slowpoke Comix #1, in 1998. In 1999, one year after the book was published, Slowpoke became a weekly comic strip. As of 2012 the strip goes simply by her own name, though a few alternative weekly papers continue to use the Slowpoke name.

Sorensen has published three volumes of cartoons: Slowpoke: Café Pompous from 2001, Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers from 2004 and her latest book, Slowpoke: One Nation Oh My God! published in 2008. Besides her weekly political cartoon, she has produced illustrations for such periodicals as Nickelodeon Magazine, The American Prospect, The Dallas Observer, Women's Review of Books, and MAD Magazine.

She has written and illustrated a number of long-form comics, most notably a piece on health care reform commissioned by Kaiser Health News, and a synopsis of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for NPR.

She served as comics editor for Splinter News (formerly Fusion)[4] from 2014 to 2018.

Sorensen is also a member of the National Advisory Council of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University.[5]

She has been interviewed by Yahoo/ABC News (video), The Washington Post,[6] as well as the University of Virginia Magazine;[7] the latter web article has a video of Sorensen working.


Herblock Prize

In 2012, Sorensen was a Herblock Finalist and was later awarded the prize in 2014, making her the first woman to be awarded the prize. Sorensen was awarded the prize based on her portfolio containing work from her local weekly newspaper The Austin Chronicle, her regular publications in The Nation, Ms. Magazine, Politico, MAD Magazine, as well as her political cartoon, Slowpoke. The Herblock Foundation judges felt that, "Jen Sorensen’s strong portfolio addresses issues that were important to Herblock, such as gun control, racism, income inequality, healthcare, and sexism. Her style allows her to incorporate information which backs up the arguments she presents. Her art is engaging and her humor is sharp and on target.” [8]

Pulitzer Prize

Sorensen was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Editorial Cartooning for a variety of her work featured in several U.S. publications. Her nominated work includes several cartoons on the current political climate, such as The Trump Supporting Union Member, Poverty Injection, Radical Cleric vs. Trump, and more. According to the Pulitzer Prize board, Sorensen's work is powerful and "often challenging the viewer to look beyond the obvious".[5]


Sorensen has written the following books, published by Alternative Comics, which are generally compilations of the weekly comic strip, although the first book contained entirely new material. The Slowpoke books contain cartoon strips concerning U.S. politics and social justice issues. These comics comment on the Trump administration, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, healthcare, climate change, and more topics related to the current U.S. political climate.[9]


  1. ^ "Jen Sorensen Biography - Jen Sorensen". Jen Sorensen. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Jen Sorensen, The Austin Chronicle". Herblock Foundation. n.d. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Jen Sorensen, freelance cartoonist - The Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Jen Sorensen". Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Finalist: Jen Sorensen, freelance cartoonist". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  6. ^ "Style & Arts: Studio - May 3, 2009 (". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Portrait of a Confessed Slowpoke". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Jen Sorensen | The Herb Block Foundation". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  9. ^ "Today on Jen Sorensen - GoComics". Retrieved 2018-12-03.