The win really is notable on a few different levels. First, Mark doesn't suck. But beyond that, his portfolio consisted entirely of animated cartoons - a first for a winner and probably the only entry like that. Mark, a former staff cartoonist, is now a go-it-alone freelancer without even a syndicate behind him. He's also what you might call an "altie" in that his humor and visual style seem to be derived from the present day and is not freakishly anachronistic. All in all good news!
Now, my colleague Jen Sorensen believes she had a hand in Mark's win through jinxation. I suppose my Machiavellian ways are so subtle that others can take credit for the win, but I'm here to tell Jen that it is I who created the circumstances for Mark's victory... as this photograph from the AAEC convention proves. For the price of a beer or two, this advice can be yours as well!
Unaltered photograph taken by JP Trostle