Friday, September 14, 2012

#!&%!! Cartoons — a Festival Celebrating the Political Cartoon

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists will hold “#!&%!! Cartoons — a Festival Celebrating the Political Cartoon,” today and tomorrow at George Washington University, as well as companion presentations at the Library of Congress and the Newseum.

The ambitious #!&%!! festival will feature some of the world’s top political-cartooning talent, including at least a dozen Pulitzer winners (The Post’s Tom Toles and Ann Telnaes among them) and award-winning Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who will receive the AAEC’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award. Ferzat made global headlines last year after government forces, responding to his critical artwork, kidnapped him, beat him and battered his hands.

Washington is the ideal city, of course, to launch a festival featuring more than 50 acid-penned jesters. The city is ripe for caricature, and one man’s seat of power is another funnyman’s dunk-tank of satire.

“Many of the country’s best editorial cartoonists will be showing what the current state of the art is,” says AAEC President-elect Matt Wuerker, Politico’s Pulitzer-winning cartoonist. “From traditional single-panel newspaper cartoonists to animated, interactive app cartooning, to comics journalism, we’ll be presenting our work, demonstrating drawing — and kicking around our favorite topics and cartoons of the current campaign.”

The multi-partisan affair will include such guests as alt-cartoonists Tom Tomorrow of the Daily Kos and Matt Bors (winner of this year’s Herblock Prize), New York Times contributor Brian McFadden, illustrator Steve Brodner, the Chicago Tribune’s Scott Stantis and the Economist’s Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher. There will also be a “Cartoon Death Match” event featuring Mike Peters, Keith Knight, Jen Sorensen and Mark Fiore.

Appearing at both the AAEC festival and Small Press Expo that same weekend will be Françoise Mouly, the New Yorker art editor and co-founder (with husband Art Spiegelman) of RAW Comics. Mouly says she’s attending the event to show her support for political cartooning — which she views a a vital art form enjoying “the best of times” in terms of online exposure.

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