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Salt Lake City, Ep. 1 

June 27, 2013 — For our second annual cartoonists-only spectacular, Literary Death Match teamed up with the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists for our Salt Lake City debut (our 49th city!) at The Tavernacle. The night was  an eye-candy filled evening that finished with Steve Benson out-dueling fellow finalist Lalo Alcaraz 12.5 to 12 in a whiz bang Quiz of Death to win Benson the LDM Salt Lake City crown.

But before lit-quizzing commenced, the night kicked off with Benson (Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and cartoonist for the Arizona Republic) leading off with an energetic, tech-challenged opener that charmed the cartoonist-heavy crowd, followed by Signe Wilkinson (the first woman to win the Pulitzer for cartooning, and cartoonist for Philadelphia Daily News) who dug deep in her archives for a Quaker-based collection that had the crowd enthralled. 

The mic was then handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: rare bookseller Ken Sanders; stage star and radio Sister Dottie S. Dixon (The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon; What Not, What Have Your and Such); and Pulitzer champ Joel Pett (who also scored a hole-in-one in golf). After a series of whimsical comments, the trio deliberated and decided it was Benson who would advance, on account of Utah being his home state. 

To kick off Round 2, it was Ted Rall (award-winning cartoonist & author of The Year of Loving Dangerously & The Anti-American Manifesto) who did his awesome best to infuriate the on-looking audience. He was followed by Lalo Alcaraz (cartoonist behind La Cucaracha & author of Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons On Immigration) who used Mitt Romney mockery to keep the audience in stitches. 

Again the mic went to the judges, who blazed through a blur of hilarious commentary before finally making the impossible decision of choosing Alcarez over Rall as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who introduced the Literary Death Match Fun in the Sun (it was 104 degrees outside) Quiz of Death. After a sparkling start, Alcarez struggled in the later rounds, and some curious scoring meant that it all came down to the final question, which Benson — who went against his better judgment — nailed, to give him the Literary Death Match championship, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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