January 24, 2013
Please Go Read Matt Bors On Plagiarism, Self- And Otherwise
. Bors has been really, really good on this issue, I think: rational, clear, non-judgmental and devoid of any bleed-over from personal feelings or competitive resentments concerning any of the cartoonists in question. It has to be phenomenally difficult to be one of the youngest members in a professional "room" and engaging in this kind of criticism. I wish more people would have his back. That the AAEC released this statement
is itself noteworthy if only in that my understanding of that organization is that their making any kind of potentially critical statement at all is like Mister Rogers raising his voice and saying a naughty. I wish it went further, but hopefully this and a more general reinvigoration of the basics paves the way for a new standard.
We can all do a better job at what we do. In a dying profession -- or a troubled one -- to have high standards instead of low ones seems to me wholly reasonable. There is a very, very different context to participating in a profession in the full flush of power, with the legitimacy of that profession either widely understood or ensconced in a way that whether or not people understand what it is you do doesn't matter. That's not what editorial cartooning is like right now. I think it's worth asking how far those great artists can move in the direction of being absolutely, consistently excellent by every measurement, as opposed to discussing how far moving the other way is forgivable.
posted 5:20 pm PST
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