Last week, while not mentioning Bill Day or his alleged instance of plagiarism or reuse of his own cartoons, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists released a statement calling the practice of plagiarism damaging to the profession and the practice of reselling old cartoons with slight modifications is “just plain bad for both the art form and for business”
The full statement is below:
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists Endorses Originality.
Over the years, there have been rare instances where an editorial cartoonist passes off someone else’s work as their own. This practice diminishes the cartoonist, their body of work and damages the profession of editorial cartooning.
The vast majority of political cartoonists create imaginative, original art and commentary on a daily basis and are a vital part of journalism.
Passing someone else’s work off as your own is not tolerated in written reporting, and it should not be tolerated in political cartooning. Indeed, it is not tolerated within the membership of our association. Further, reselling old cartoons with only a few labels changed is just plain bad for both the art form and for business.
These rare instances of plagiarism should not detract from the thousands of unique, original and well-drawn works created by hard-working cartoonists every year. These fresh, original creations jump off the page (be it paper, monitor or mobile), engaging readers and making them think, talk, argue and act.
New, creative and original political cartoons make a difference in our society. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists will continue to dedicate itself to supporting and promoting the craft.