2020 AAEC Awards

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists announced its 2020 award winners during its (delayed and cancelled and now smaller and virtual) “convention” held the first weekend of October.

The John Locher Memorial Award, for promising young cartoonists, was announced last month but made official this month.

© Catherine Gong

The AAEC/John Locher Memorial Award — Congrats to Catherine Gong! Catherine is a graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist based in San Francisco who says that, in her covert rebellion against prejudice, her weapon of choice is satire. The 2020 judges said: “Catherine’s work demonstrates a range of commentary from strong and poignant to precise and funny, all skillfully drawn with a unique voice.” Cartoonist Tom Coute was named runner-up, and Emeka Perkins-Johnson, Sam Nakahira and Edward Wilson were also cited for their notable submissions.



The AAEC Ink Bottle Award — The Ink Bottle Award is presented annually by the President of the AAEC  “in recognition of dedicated service to the Association and distinguished efforts to promote the art of editorial cartooning.” This year’s recipients are Adam Zyglis, Ed Hall and JP Trostle, the trio of cartoonists who labored for several years to revamp the AAEC’s website, and update look of the 64-year-old professional organization for the 21st century.



The Robert Russell Courage in Cartooning Award — And last but not least, the AAEC is proud to stand with the Cartoonists Rights Network International in its choice for the 2020 Courage in Cartooning Award, Ahmed Kabir Kishore. CRNI Director Terry Anderson had this to say in presenting the award:

“Through April and into May of this year Ahmed posted to Facebook a series of cartoons he entitled ‘Life in the Time of Corona,’ satirizing society’s response to, and critical of the government’s handling of public health during the pandemic.”

“On May 5, 2020, Ahmed was among several people arrested under the Digital Security Act by personnel from the Dhaka division of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-3), the unit officially deployed against terrorists, drug lords and human traffickers but often accused of being an instrument of government suppression.

“In presenting the Robert Russell Courage in Cartooning Award 2020 to Ahmed Kabir Kishore, we call for his immediate release, his total exoneration of all criminal charges and an independent investigation into his treatment while a detainee.”


The Rex Babin Memorial Award Excellence in Local Cartooning is covered elsewhere.

Read the full award announcements and statements, with acceptance videos, at AAEC.