Meet Lisa Benson, a Californian and conservative syndicated editorial cartoonist. She will be featured in The Coronado News. Cartoon by Benson.

Lisa Benson grew up taking every art class that her high school schedule would allow.

But, it wasn’t until 16 years later, after she got married, started a family and worked jobs in bookkeeping and driving a city bus, that she reignited her artistic voice. 

After her youngest child of four started kindergarten, she landed a job doing paste-up and occasional illustrations and cartoons in a monthly newspaper.

Now, conservative syndicated editorial cartoonist Benson’s work is featured in newspapers across the U.S. 

The Coronado News is thrilled to bring her art to readers, featured on the editorial page each week and online at

Lisa Benson, a California native, is one of the few female conservative editorial cartoonists in the country. Cartoon by Lisa Benson.

“To be honest, I never set my sights on a career in cartooning,” Benson said in an interview. “I loved drawing and clipping editorial cartoons from the newspaper, but the odds of earning a living doing political cartoons seemed out of reach.”

She discovered the editorial page during the Watergate Hearings in 1972, after primarily finding intrigue in the comic section.

“After school, my mother would share the latest humor and commentary of artists like Pat Oliphant and Paul Conrad,” Benson said. “I was hooked, and have never looked back.” 

Journey began in 1992

Her journey as a freelancer started at the Victorville Daily Press in 1992, where she has created two local cartoons per week for 30 years. 

“Editorial cartooning wasn’t exactly paying the bills, so I took a job with a marketing firm, learning computer graphics for a variety of formats and applications,” Benson said.

Three and a half years later, she began freelancing from home full-time after building a clientele of her own.

Benson was syndicated by the Washington Post Writers group in 2006. 

The Washington Post has since discontinued representing cartoonists and Benson is now syndicated with Counterpoint Media. 

Top honors

She won first place in the California Newspaper’s Association Awards in 2000 and first place honors for the Best of the West awards in 2010 for her editorial cartoons. 

Benson is a California native whose work reflects a right leaning point of view; she is one of the few conservative syndicated editorial cartoonists in the country.

She was particularly inspired by editorial cartoonists Michael Ramirez and Jeff MacNelly’s work, and said she relies on an old school method for creating her cartoons—pencil to paper. 

She starts with India ink and micron pens to bristol board. The final product is scanned to Photoshop where color is added and then sent off to the syndicate.

Lisa Benson, a new editorial cartoonist for The Coronado News, didn’t start her current career until after she got married, started a family and worked jobs in bookkeeping and driving a city bus. Cartoon by Lisa Benson.

Reading is a huge part of Benson’s creation process to gather enough content for three cartoons each week, she said.

“Sometimes, a particular news story that I’m passionate about will jump off the page, but most days it’s an effort to sift through the garbage for something interesting,” she said.

Key issues in California

In California right now, she said there are many important issues to comment on, such as high taxes and over regulation, homelessness, water, a stable and affordable energy supply and underfunded liabilities.  

According to Benson, an editorial cartoon’s role in an editorial page is to use art, commentary and sometimes humor to convey a message and spark thoughtful conversation.

“Cartoons have been a part of editorial pages for years and enjoyed by readers worldwide,” Benson said. “I hope that trend continues.”

After her youngest child of four started kindergarten, Lisa Benson landed a job doing paste-up and occasional illustrations and cartoons in a monthly newspaper. Cartoon by Lisa Benson.
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Sofie Fransen is a staff writer for The Coronado News. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University, majoring in English-Education and minoring in Journalism. She was the Opinion Editor of The Point student newspaper. In the summers, she has been commercial fishing for the sockeye salmon run in Alaska. She can be reached by email or at 360-527-5848.

The Coronado News is a 24-hour news website and direct-mail free newspaper to all residents and businesses of Coronado as we cover city government, schools, businesses, entertainment and the Navy.