“Jeff Koterba is super funny and smart and creative in many different ways. Plus his cartoons have been in space and he was even hit by lightning. What’s not to like?”
JEFF KOTERBA is a cartoonist, writer, and musician. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and during the summer before his senior year of high school, he was struck by lightning. By coincidence, a few weeks later he landed his first cartooning job on his school newspaper.
Since joining the Omaha World-Herald in 1989, he has been a finalist for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year from the National Cartoonists Society—2002—and has twice placed second in the National Headliner Awards—2000 and 2012. In 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2016, he won first place for editorial cartooning in the Great Plains Journalism Awards.
His cartoons are distributed through King Features Syndicate to 400 newspapers nationwide, and have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, on CNN, and on SoulPancake.com. One of his cartoons can also be spotted in the Alexander Payne film, Election, but you have to look quickly. Additionally, his original cartoons have been collected by notables such as Warren Buffett and Oprah.
In 2010, two of Koterba’s cartoons flew aboard space shuttle Discovery.
Koterba has appeared as a panelist at San Diego’s Comic-Con International and as a featured guest on Public Radio International’s Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know.
His most recent cartoon collection, Koterba: Drawing You In, includes editorial cartoons from his twenty-five year career at the World-Herald, along with insights into his creative process.
His memoir, Inklings (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) traces Koterba’s path on his journey to become a cartoonist, and more so, to rediscover the love of his family that was there from the start. Inklings was named a Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction book of 2009. Entertainment Weekly called Inklings “…a powerful and moving portrait of an artist.”
He is lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Prairie Cats, a swing and jump-blues band he formed in 1998. The Prairie Cats have performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival, Windows on the World at the World Trade Center, and at the Derby Lounge in Hollywood, and have been included on several Sony/BMG compilations in Europe alongside the likes of Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, and Frank Sinatra.
Koterba has written for The Huffington Post, ABC News, and The Daily Beast and in 2009, he was named a finalist for a three-part essay written for The World-Herald, “Ink and Ash,” in the Great Plains Journalism Awards. His fiction has appeared in Parcel, and his graphic nonfiction has appeared in Ecotone.
In addition, Koterba is the subject of the documentary, Voluntary Gestures, a film that explores the connections between Tourette Syndrome and creativity. Voluntary Gestures made its world premier at the Omaha Film Festival where it received the audience choice award for favorite short film.
And in case there was any question, he now avoids thunderstorm whenever possible.