Let's talk. I'm Mike Thompson, the newly minted staff editorial cartoonist for the Star Tribune. I'm picking up the torch from my legendary predecessor and good friend Steve Sack, who retired from the position last year.

This job is a homecoming for me. I was born in Mankato and grew up in south Minneapolis, and I'm excited to be back in my hometown.

I come here by way of USA Today, where I was staff editorial cartoonist, and before that the Detroit Free Press, where I worked on staff for more than two decades.

All told, I've been doing my dream job for more than three decades, have earned Pulitzer Prize finalist status four times and am past recipient of a slew of other national journalism awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award. More important, I'm a husband and father to two adult women.

I'm most proud of the work I've done on local issues, where I believe editorial cartooning has the most impact. I plan to focus my pen on what's happening in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. That doesn't mean I'll ignore major national and international issues, but like any commentator I'm hoping to make an impact and spark conversations on issues that contribute to solutions. Focusing on local issues allows me to give readers visual commentary that they can't get anywhere else.

As I said, let's talk. Let me know what you think about my visual opinions. My goal is to spark conversations, so let's have one. Feel free to contact me at mike.thompson@startribune.com.