Chris Sharron talks about his drawings

Nicole Stempak

Chris Sharron began drawing cartoons for the Daily Kent Stater when he was a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

It was the summer before senior year, and Sharron was taking post-secondary classes at Kent State. He e-mailed then Summer Stater editor Matt Peters to see if there was a political cartoonist on staff. There wasn’t.

“I figured I should get a job for the summer, and I figured I would try to get a job in something I was interested in, and this seemed right up my alley,” the junior art education major said.

KentNewsNet archives list that Sharron has drawn 186 cartoons, although he estimated that number may be double that amount.

Sharron was recently named one of the top 100 collegiate journalists by UWIRE, a syndicate wire service for student-generated media. The 100 were selected from more than 825 nominations from more than 135 schools, according to UWIRE’s Web site.

Project coordinator Steve Veres said Sharron is one of two cartoonists ranked. Veres, who is online editor for UWIRE, said this is the second year for the competition, and there are nine repeat winners, including Sharron.

Sharron said being named was an honor, albeit a surprise.

“The mystery gets chipped away each time you find out that you’ve reached the next step,” he said, adding that he was asked to provide more information each time they contacted him. “It’s like you’re kept in the loop through the whole thing, so it’s not as out of the blue (when they announce the winners), but it’s definitely an honor.”

Sharron is no stranger to awards. He was first runner-up for the John Locher Memorial Award in 2008 and 2009. He was a finalist for the 2009 Charles M. Schulz award. Sharron won first place in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards for 2006; he placed first in 2007 and second in 2008. He took first place in 2009 for the Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and second place in 2008.

After college, Sharron said he would like to do some kind of freelance cartooning and illustration.

“I became interested in political cartoons because I was drawing political cartoons,” he said, adding that he began studying other political cartoonists and began seeing the cartoon as an art form. “… I never thought I could do it as a job.”

Contact administration reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected].