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AAEC Convention Round Up

The AAEC wrapped up it’s annual convention over the weekend. Here is a list of stories about the going’s on:

Dana Priest, the journalist that broke the story on the Walter Reed hospital deplorable conditions spoke to editorial cartoonists praising them for putting “the punctuation mark on the sentences we constructed.

Nick Anderson will become president of the AAEC in September. E&P reports that AAEC membership rose from 375 to 392. They also raised $18,000 ($3k more than the needed $15k) to match the grant money from the Challenge Fund for Journalism.

Jonathan Shapiro of South Africa was awarded the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award at the annual Cartoonists Rights Network International dinner which many AAEC members attended. Shapiro, who uses the pen name “Zapiro” was sued by South African politician Jacob Zuma for $2 million after Zapiro drew cartoons critical of the politician.

Will Durst also spoke. He’s a political humorist. On George W. Bush, he joked, “Satirizing him was like slam-dunking from a stepladder.”

Animated editorial cartooning was a big topic this year. Clay Jones, editorial cartoonist for the Free Lance-Star, summed it up:

The debate goes like this: Some people think winning a Pulitzer for animated editorial cartoons is just peachy. I think the one person who believes this is Walt Handelsman.

The other thought is: Give animated toons a Pulitzer, but give it it’s own category. A lot of cartoonists will settle for this as long as they can keep the odds of them winning a Pulitzer the same, and don’t have to compete against Spongebob Square Pants in case he comes out against the war.

And the thought I agree with is: Animated toons shouldn’t be given a Pulitzer at all. I know that sounds harsh..but C’mon, they’re not even printed in the newspaper. One other factor about these animations: a lot of these guys didn’t do them by themselves.

Blogging isn’t being welcomed by most editorial cartoonists.

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich praises editorial cartoonists and begs them to cover him.

I know you’re required to draw a certain number of cartoons about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but throw one in about me once in a while. I can take the heat! Give it your best shot! Just draw me!”

Flemming Rose, the editor that ran the now famous Muhammad cartoons, spoke.

“We could have done a feature story and gotten one or two letters,” added Rose. “Instead, we decided to show it rather than tell it. That demonstrates the power of cartoons.”

Community Comments

#1 Dawn Douglass
@ 7:57 am

So what? It’s the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, not the Pulitzer Prize for Newspapers. Newspapers is just a platform.

This is like somebody winning music awards only to hear people grouse, “C’mon, they’re not even played on the radio.”

#2 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:00 am

I think a more valid comparison is having a stage play and a movie pit for a same award.

#3 Dawn Douglass
@ 8:01 am

Okay, I obviously did the tagging wrong. I was responding to “but Câ??mon, theyâ??re not even printed in the newspaper.”

#4 Dawn Douglass
@ 8:04 am

I agree that it would be better to have a separate category, but to imply that animated editorial cartoons aren’t worthy of a Pulitzer because they aren’t in newspapers is ridiculous.

#5 Dave M.
@ 12:57 pm

If the Pulitzers had television journalism competing with newspaper journalism, then it would make more sense. But they don’t simply because they’re entities that cannot be compared fairly. You could argue that “reporting is reporting” so why not include radio and television broadcast news and commentary with newspapers for a Pulitzer? I don’t think you’d find too many people who would agree with that. The same principle holds true for cartoons in print and animation. They’re separate animals that shouldn’t be in the same category.

#6 Dawn Douglass
@ 1:25 pm

At the end of the day Walt Handelsman got the award for being innovative. And isn’t innovation what editorial cartoonists desperately need?

Now that animation is recognized as a legitimate way to professionally editorialize, then the separate category can be created. But somebody had to be first and I say good for him! All this sour grapes stuff is just diminishing your profession, in my outsider’s opinion.

Either you want to move forward as a profession and stake out new territory for yourselves or you want to continue to die off — with those old standards of what an editorial cartoon is and isn’t clutched in your fists.

#7 Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » July 10, 2007: The Hogarth of the American middle class
@ 5:22 am

[…] Missed it: Nick Anderson will become the next president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, according to a report by Editor & Publisher’s Dave Astor. (Caught it: Alan Gardner.) […]

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