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AAEC #!&% Cartoon Festival videos now online

Matt Wuerker has announced that the Association of American Editorial Cartoonist’s “#!&% Cartoons! A Festival Celebrating Political Cartoons” videos have been posted online.

Looks like all of them. My afternoon and weekend is officially blown.

Too many to highlight. Here’s The Portland Oregonian’s Jack Ohman on the evolution of style.

Community Comments

#1 Rich Diesslin
@ 3:35 pm

Very thoughtful and thought provoking presentation.

#2 Brian Fairrington
@ 4:15 pm

Kinda reminds me of people getting up to talk at a funeral.

#3 Mike Lester
@ 10:06 am

Brian’s not just right, he’s hilariously (and I’d bet uncomfortably) dead on. (pun intended)

btw: while Jack certainly didn’t intend it, there are former ed. cartoonists who translate his “40% pay cut” as bragging.

Sad days for a once proud occupation.

#4 JP Trostle
@ 3:07 pm

I’ve been saying this to anyone who will listen, but Jack’s talk is nothing less than a manifesto.

Granted, it is one of the most droll, deadpan manifestos ever thrown down, but is nonetheless a challenge to editorial cartoonists ? and all cartoonists really ? to change the way they do things in the 21st century.

#5 Mike Garman
@ 9:09 am



#6 Ann Telnaes
@ 9:26 am

Actually, these are are promising days for our profession.

JP and I attended the convention and I think I can safely speak for both of us that this year’s convention had a different tone from previous doom & gloom ones. People were looking ahead and exploring different options for their work. There were some really inspiring presentations; one I would recommend is Steve Brodner’s talk about how he has transitioned from a long career in magazine illustration to creating videos using his art skills and commentary. That’s just one of many inspiring presentations; I would encourage you to watch several of the videos.

#7 JP Trostle
@ 12:27 pm

True, Ann… except for the fact that Jack apparently just stepped down from his job today…


#8 Jeff Darcy
@ 1:00 pm

Speaking of talking at funerals. That’s how I feel these days
when I get asked to speak to students at career day.

One of the saddest parts of what has been going on is
to have young kids still emailing and calling to find out how
to become a political cartoonist not knowing the state of the

#9 Ann Telnaes
@ 6:35 am

From what we know so far about Jack stepping down from the Oregonian, it doesn’t sound like a layoff so I don’t see how that takes away from the fact more and more editorial cartoonists are exploring new options for their work. Maybe that’s what Jack is doing.

#10 Mike Lester
@ 7:53 am

“I would encourage you to watch several of the videos.”

I tried but it was like watching the end of “Ol’ Yeller” on a loop.

Here’s the list of cartoonists who produce non-traditional ed. content: Ann, S.Brodner, M.Fiore. vs. quick head count of traditional: 25. (if I missed one pls. correct me) No great revelation here. The percentage lucky enough to have a job will more than likely be able to see it thru. (I didn’t see any 20-somthings on stage) But they won’t be replaced.

Personally, I think new media and alternate approaches of editorial content/cartooning is very entertaining, in it’s infancy and will develop over time. -if you’ve got the time. But the editorial cartoon as we’ve come to know it will one day be an exhibit at colonial Williamsburg.

Quick observation: As much content as Daryl Cagle has, I don’t know why he hasn’t undercut every syndicate out there and taken over what’s left of the entire genre. Scary thought but desperate people/publishers make desperate choices.

#11 Ann Telnaes
@ 8:26 am

Nick Anderson? Susie Cagle? Patrick Chappatte? Kal? I’m sure I’m missing some.

As for attracting younger cartoonists, yes, the AAEC needs to do a better job. There were discussions at the business meeting about outreach to art schools and colleges.

I’ve never thought traditional syndication is a good model for editorial cartoonists in this new online world. People need to create their own brand (I seem to remember someone else making this point).

#12 Mike Lester
@ 9:11 am

Touche’. If you need me I’ll be set up between the Wheelwright and the Wigmaker.

#13 Jeff Darcy
@ 12:10 pm

In the past when talking to young students about a career as a political cartoonist I’ve always told them to have a plan b. Now
I tell them to have a plan A because no one is hiring political cartoonist anymore.

The situation is so bad I’ve talked to co-workers who turn down
career day speaking invitations because they feel it’s morally wrong to encourage kids to go into a field they have almost
no hope of making a living at.

They’ll make a better living as wigmaker next to Lester in

My message to Art students is go west young man and woman
to the land of gold and pixar

#14 Ann Telnaes
@ 5:44 pm

The animation industry hasn’t always been so good for employment; it tends to ebb and flow like other professions do. When I attended CalArts in the early 80’s the so-called golden age of Disney animation had come to an end. Creatively the studio had hit a low and just wasn’t employing new animators like they used to. With Roger Rabbit the animation industry experienced a resurgence ; studios were vying for animators and salaries were in the six figures. Afterwards the profession again slowed and resulted in layoffs, and so on. The point is, we shouldn’t be discouraging people from entering the editorial cartooning field just because the so-called print golden age is over. Creative people should follow their passion and what they do best- with their eyes and minds open.

#15 Jason Nocera
@ 9:42 am

Great presentation. I enjoyed Tom Toles, as well, but I was disappointed that it was cut off before it finished.

#16 Jeff Darcy
@ 12:02 pm

If kids are going to be encouraged to follow their
passion with their eyes and minds open- that means fully
informing them that while the animation industry ebbs and flows
like other professions, the editorial cartoon profession is flowing
right to the unemployment line.

As I said earlier. For me it’s the saddest part of what’s happening. To have all this interest from young kids with
talent- with virtually zero future job opportunities

#17 Brian Fairrington
@ 3:35 pm

Ann, did you just see the Star Wars Disney Memes that Alan just posted? I bet each one was created by someone under the age of 25. The problem with the future of editorial cartooning lies right there.

The young internet generation, (the ones that are freshman in college now) see Memes like that as their form of editorial cartooning. Furthermore, all of the Memes that were posted were done well, cost no money and would have made good editorial cartoons, especially the ears on the Death Star. They can be done quickly and go viral in a fraction of the time it takes to draw the same ed. cartoon. The younger generation see no distinction between the two, other than the fact that the ed. cartoons look old fashion by comparison.

In less that 10 years these same freshman will be working there way up to become editors, publishers, run web sites etc…in other words the decision makers. They’ll look upon the last 40 years of editorial cartooning the same way we all look upon the grease pencil style of the early half the 20th century, old and obsolete. How do you over come that?

#18 JP Trostle
@ 3:53 pm

Ann, yeah ? I take it back. There’s method behind Jack’s apparent madness. And, if the Oregonian is smart, they’ll fill that suddenly open position ASAP (or, even smarter, give it to Matt Bors).

#19 Jeff Darcy
@ 5:16 pm

JP, As you may know, the Oregonian is a sister paper of
the New Orleans Times- Picayune

#20 Mike Lester
@ 8:45 am

Got a klieg light in the sky yesterday (shaped like a buggy whip) and I’m headed to Nashville to speak to Watkins Coll. of Art/Design/Film to fill in for somebody. Happy to do it but it presents the problem I’ve heard mentioned: how NOT to come off like a hypocrite?

Oddly, making it in crea. arts is a lot like making it in country music. Or at least that’s what I’m going with and w/ a daughter trying to make it in the latter, I’ve got a window.

and fwiw, imho, btw, and immutable fact: There’s no death of cartoons. There’s a death of PRINTED cartoons.

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