Friday, August 18, 2023

The AAEC has a new website

From the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

Welcome to the newest iteration of the AAEC website. 

Here you can find the latest news on the “dying art” of political cartooning — sometimes it’s even good news! — along with profiles of those who still endeavor to create it, as well as connections to other cartoon, free speech and journalists’ rights groups. 

Many thanks to the team at The Daily Cartoonist for picking up our slack in covering the industry while this site was down for the last six months, and drawing attention to the stories we couldn’t cover.

Many thanks, too, to Don Freeman and his team at Uncle Jake Media, who went the proverbial above and beyond in attempting to salvage our last unsalvageable site, and when that proved impossible (several times over, I might add), built this new shiny for us.

This upgrade was long overdue, but is a complete rebuild of our online presence from the foundation up, and like everything else these days, took a lot longer than expected. 

While it has arrived months (ok, years) behind schedule, it is still very much a work in progress, so if you see a broken link or missing artwork or something else janky, let us know!

One change from earlier iterations: instead of hosting an archive of member’s work and presenting a roundup of each day’s cartoons, we’re focusing on the cartoonists themselves, presenting a “Cartoonist of the Day” at the top of the home page with a sampling of their stuff and links to where you can see more of their work. 

We will be cycling through our active membership list, one cartoonist a day, until we’ve showcased everyone. 

(We are also experimenting with an Instagram plug-in in the right column that allows us to take a random sampling of members’ IG feeds; this was a late edition to the design, replacing a defunct Twitter feed, and only shows a few cartoonists at this time. 

As we scale up, we hope to include everyone who has an active Instagram account.)

Given the current and very public travails of editorial cartooning — from the wholesale elimination of staff jobs by hedge fund-owned media chains that flee from the slightest whiff of controversy, to the open hostility to the craft shown by certain legacy newspapers and award committees — it has been suggested by some that launching a new website now is a akin to that hoary cliché of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. 

While that remains to be seen, if we’re going down I for one am going to wield them like folding chairs in a brawl.

So welcome aboard!

— JP Trostle, AAEC News Editor

Editor's note: I will be  “Cartoonist of the Day” on September 7.

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