Jack Ohman talks about recent AAEC convention

Association of American Editorial Cartoonists President Jack Ohman posts a recap of his trip to Columbus, OH for the annual AAEC convention. From background accounts, it was a terrific convention in all regards: speakers, topics, after-convention banter and (sigh) security.

Jack explains:

Suddenly, I was faced with a completely new world. Instead of a nice, quiet convention in nice, quiet Columbus, Ohio, I had lots of concerns ? like would any of us be murdered en masse. After the shootings at the ridiculous Pam Geller-instigated Muhammad cartoon show in Garland, Texas, I was even more concerned.

So instead of a hotel lobby and convention site filled with happy editorial cartoonists (not an oxymoron), there were lobbies filled with bomb squads, bomb-sniffing dogs, a SWAT team on a nearby roof, sheriff?s deputies, and uniformed and plain-clothed Columbus police officers.

Let’s hope next year’s convention in Durham, NC is equally successful, but requires less security precautions.

For more specifics of this year’s convention itself, Jack was interviewed by Michael Cavna.

2 thoughts on “Jack Ohman talks about recent AAEC convention

  1. It was nowhere as alarming as this description. There was security but they were fairly unobtrusive, and the heavier-duty security was not obvious at all. Cartoonists were able to have their usual conversations without intrusion.
    It was a great convention, with excellent programming. Kudos to Jack, Nate Beeler, Lucy Caswell and OSU for a super job.

  2. I would agree with Steve, but with the caveat that the general AAEC convention attendee (like me) was not aware of all the behind the scenes security preparation and planning that the organizers and host of the convention were doing in order to make the event as safe as possible for everyone. I understand that much of the security response was not requested, but offered by the law enforcement agencies (and accepted) in the interests of protecting the safety of both the international guest cartoonists and the U.S. cartoonists as well. While on a break between panel discussions on Friday, I did ask one of the Ohio state police officers if there was anything valuable around there that they were guarding. “Only you guys,” he replied.

    I would add the same respect to all of the talented women cartoonists and other industry professionals in attendance. Overall, I thought it was a simple but powerful comment on what we do, and what it’s worth – directly from someone who puts himself on the line daily in defense of the exercise of free speech and the constitutionally protected rights we all hold dear.

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