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AAEC raises estimated $5,747 for Cartoons for the Classroom project

The 30 editorial cartoons that were auctioned off to raise money for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ Cartoons for the Classroom program has garnered the AAEC an estimated $5,747 based on yesterday’s closing bidding numbers. The largest bid went for a Tom Toles original for $306.00 with 10 bidders. The most active bidding centered around Steve Breen’s original with 18 bidders that finally went for $250. Several pieces didn’t hit their reserves and were not auctioned. Those works include: Walt Handelsman, Steve Kelley, Dick Locher, Jack Ohman, and Signe Wilinson.

The AAEC needs to raise $15,000 by the end of this month to take advantage of the Challenge Fund for Journalism matching grant. As of March, the organization had raised only $4,000 according to an E&P report. AAEC president, Rob Rogers, has created an incentive that the first 30 cartoonists to donate $100 or more will be eligible for an exclusive tour of the Library of Congressâ?? cartoon collection during this summers AAEC convention in Washington D.C.

Cartoons for the Classroom project provides a bi-weekly lesson plan using editorial cartoons for instruction of history and current events.

Here are the final tallies. Included are the bid activity on Saturday evening 20 hours before the auctioned ended. Numbers that are crossed out indicate that the reserve was not met and the piece was not sold. The graph also is broken down into two groups: The top group are original artwork; the bottom section (starting at Rex Babin) are signed reprints.

AAEC Auction results

Community Comments

#1 DT
May/21/2007
@ 12:16 pm

Hmmmm…awful lot of cartoons went for $250…makes one wonder if that was a face-saving gesture by the cartoonists in question, to bid on their own cartoons at a respectable amount so as not to look under-appreciated….and if the poor sports (read, large egos) hadn’t pulled their offerings, AAEC would have netted another $586…but perhaps I’m too cynical…?

#2 Alan Gardner
May/21/2007
@ 2:00 pm

I thought that was interesting as well, so I published the bid numbers and amounts for what I saw on Saturday. I guess, if they feel strongly about the value of their art, they can buy it themselves to keep it inflated. The question then, is if they’ve spent more than a $100 to buy their own art – and it does help support the AAEC program – does it count toward getting into the Library of Congress collection that Rob Rogers is offering. Hmmm.

#3 Tj Walkup
May/21/2007
@ 2:54 pm

Ok to put it to you guys gently…ARE YOU STOOOOPID? Cartoonist are bidding on cartoons because they like them! Oh and it is a “FUND RAISER” DOH!

Don’t for get that.

TJ Walkup

#4 Alan Gardner
May/21/2007
@ 3:57 pm

Hey TJ! Sounds more like someone (won’t name names) is NIIIIII-EEEEEVEEE.

#5 Rick Stromoski
May/21/2007
@ 7:38 pm

There is a more effective way of running a silent auction that most organizers don’t realize. Looks like this one wasn’t run as well as it could have given the top names involved.

Pulitzer prize winners should not go for less than $500

#6 Clay Bennett
May/22/2007
@ 7:20 am

Thanks for your support on the AAEC auction, Alan. Publicity generated by sites like the Daily Cartoonist contributed greatly to the success of this event. That’s right, I said success. Maybe some collectors did pick up some bargains, but isn’t that often the case in an auction?

Monday-morning quarterbacking aside, I’m quite pleased with the results of the auction and extremely proud of all the cartoonists who stepped up to support both the ‘Cartoons for the Classroom’ program and the AAEC. You can scrutinize the final tally all you want, but not one of those numbers measures the size of someone’s heart.

Just for the record: Not one cartoon was purchased by the artist who created it (although one piece was purchased by a fellow cartoonist) and it was I who pulled the cartoons not making the reserve prices (not the cartoonists who donated the work).

#7 Alan Gardner
May/22/2007
@ 7:55 am

Thanks Clay for your report. Congratulations on its success.

#8 Nick Anderson
May/22/2007
@ 10:32 am

Several cartoons went for $250 because that was the “reserve price” for an original (It was $150 for signed prints). The starting bids were $50 for all. Any bid submitted between $50 and $249 will stay at $50 until a second bidder drives the price up. Once someone bids $250 (or more), the bid automatically jumps to the reserve price. The price won’t go up unless another bidder is driving it up. Theoretically, you can submit a maximum bid of $10,000, but only end up paying $250 because no one bid against you.

The ones that didn’t sell didn’t meet their reserve. The ones that sold below their reserve apparently took advantage of a second-chance offer from the auction coordinator after the auction was complete.

I (and the other cartoonists) may have a “large ego,” but not a big enough one to create a fictional character who has apparently been a member of ebay since 1999 and has bought at least 75 other things on ebay, who apparently (from earlier purchases) is an editorial cartoon collector, and to spend $250 on my own cartoon.

Nothing wrong with cynicism, as long as it’s informed. Now, you can consider yourselves informed. Your welcome.

Nick

#9 Clay Bennett
May/22/2007
@ 10:39 am

If there were any strategic or tactical failings of the AAEC auction, those criticism fall squarely on my shoulders as its organizer. This was the first such endeavor for both the AAEC and myself. We were dealt some blows during the course of the event, and made some mistakes ourselves, but should we decide to try this again in the years to come, we’ll do a better job from the lessons we’ve learned.

All I ask is that you save your criticism for me alone. The cartoonists who gave so willingly to this event deserve none of you speculative contempt. The artists who put their work out there, risking the fate that it might not make as much as we hoped it would, or as much as others might think it should, deserve nothing but your respect.

If we do decide to try this again, I just hope we can convince the cartoonists who we approach, that the performance of their cartoons won’t be sliced, diced, scrutinized and ridiculed.

#10 Rick Stromoski
May/22/2007
@ 11:54 am

Clay-

I did not mean to imply that your auction was poorly run. I apologize for my poor choice of words. I’ve been on an educational organization that has a yearly auction that raises money for the arts in the public schools in my town and we consistantly raise between $60 and $70K a year. The first year we hired an auction co-ordinator service and they taught us a numerous amount of ways to make an auction successful. After hiring the consultant we went from just $8K the first year to $60K the second year. If you do decide to do it again I would like to help out.

Again my sincerest apologies for my poor choice of words.

Rick

#11 Clay Bennett
May/22/2007
@ 12:17 pm

No problem, Rick!

I’d be the first to admit that I was flying by the seat of my pants. In fact, the first contact to the cartoonists who were involved went out in early April, so I had very little time, and even less expertise. Couple that with the fact that our web site was shut down completely by our server for the last three days of the auction, and you can see why I see this as nothing short of a smashing success.

I don’t mind the criticism of me. Those who donated work for the auction however, deserved no criticism at all.

#12 Alan Gardner
May/22/2007
@ 12:31 pm

Clay,
I’d hate to think that anyone is taking offense to my observations on the final bid amounts. Any casual suspicions that I may have had were resolved with your earlier post.

I completely support the AAEC and its endeavors to raise money for the classroom project. I hope that the AAEC does this again and that you’ll consider me and this blog as a friend of such a cause.

Alan

#13 Clay Bennett
May/22/2007
@ 12:40 pm

I do, Alan. Thanks!

#14 DT
May/22/2007
@ 3:12 pm

Just goes to show, you can’t make value-judgements unless you know the ground rules. I’m glad to discover my cynical suspicions were unfounded. But unless you ask the question…

#15 Tim Campbell
May/23/2007
@ 2:53 pm

I wanted to write and express my gratitude for the recent auction of editorial cartoons. I started doing editorial cartoons myself this past year and have become very interested in the work of others in this field. This past Sunday I was fortunate to have the winning bid on one of my favorites and it arrived today. I couldn’t be more pleased. I sincerely hope that you will hold similar auctions like this in the future.

Tim

#16 Scott
July/24/2007
@ 8:19 pm

As the winner of the great Tom Toles cartoon I’d just like to say thanks for hosting the auction. If you hold another one I will certainly bid again.

I’m also pleased to have discovered AAEC and The Daily Cartoonist.

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