Association of American Editorial Cartoonists
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) is a professional association concerned with promoting the interests of staff, freelance and student editorial cartoonists in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With nearly 300 members, it is the world's largest organization of political cartoonists.
The AAEC has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in several cases dealing with freedom of the press, including the 1988 Supreme Court case Flynt v. Falwell (Hustler Magazine v. Falwell). Aside from First Amendment issues, the Association does not take sides in political controversies.
Formed in 1957 by a small group of newspaper cartoonists led by John Stampone of the Army Times, the AAEC was created to promote and stimulate public interest in the editorial page cartoon and to create closer contact among political cartoonists. Each year, the annual AAEC convention is held in a different North American city, allowing cartoonists and other association members—including publishers, writers, historians and collectors—the chance to meet face-to-face, talk shop and generally kvetch.
The AAEC follows the publishing industry and member artists through weekly news updates at its web site editorialcartoonists.com, and in its quarterly magazaine the Notebook. The AAEC site also offers dozens of new editorial cartoons each day, and a recent archive of nearly 40,000 cartoons.
For the last two decades, the AAEC has sponsored the John Locher Memorial Award, given each year to the most promising student cartoonist. The Award was named in honor of the late son of Dick and Mary Locher, who felt the need to establish an award that would not only honor the memory of John Locher but also would help discover young cartoonists and stimulate interest in editorial cartooning among college-age students in North America.
The AAEC also sponsors a Cartoons for the Classroom program designed to aid educators at all levels in teaching history, economics, social studies and current events.
In 2008, AAEC joined over 60 other art licensing businesses (including the Artists Rights Society, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Stock Artists Alliance, Illustrator's Partnership of America and the Advertising Photographers of America, among others) in opposing both The Orphan Works Act of 2008 and The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. Known collectively as "Artists United Against the U.S. Orphan Works Acts," the diverse organizations joined forces to oppose the bills, which the groups believe "permits, and even encourages, wide-scale infringements while depriving creators of protections currently available under the Copyright Act."
- Orphan Works Legislative Action Center: Groups Opposed to the Orphan Works Act