Nationally syndicated cartoonist Robert Ariail will begin to appear in the City Paper this week with a new cartoon series he’s calling, “Lowcountry.”

Ariail, who lives in Camden, was the editorial cartoonist for The State newspaper from 1984 until 2009, and was twice named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1995 and 2000.

His new cartoon series will focus on coastal issues, a topic he said he’s innately familiar with.

“I spent my sunbaked childhood searching the beaches for shark’s teeth and shells and plying the waters of the creek for flounder and blue crab behind my grandfather’s house,” said Ariail. “So creating a comic strip with the beauty of South Carolina’s Lowcountry as a backdrop came naturally and is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Ariail joins award-winning City Paper cartoonist Steve Stegelin, whose weekly editorial cartoons will continue to run in the paper and online. (Along with, of course, his pitch-perfect Blotter doodles.)

Ariail also contributed illustrations to 350 Facts About Charleston, a book recently published by the City Paper that appears on store shelves next week.