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BEST COMIC 

Bryan Stalder

Critics' Choice

Lee Judge fell out of prominence after The Kansas City Star laid him off as a full-timer, relegating the daily's chief cartoonist to freelance status. Thankfully, Northeast News still offers a news hole for editorial cartoons. Bryan Stalder's illustrated commentaries pull few punches — just like Judge used to do. The drawings themselves have a South Park–like quality, but the message is the appeal. Frequent targets of Stalder's scorn include City Hall leaders, particularly those who championed the 2-mile streetcar line along Main from the River Market to Crown Center. Mayor Sly James, the chief advocate of what Stalder views as an impossibly wasteful transportation project, is often a piñata in the comic's "Retorts Illustrated."

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