Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 17, 2015

Missed It: Interview With Outgoing AAEC President Jack Ohman

Michael Cavna had a nice interview up late last week with the cartoonist Jack Ohman, a talented veteran who spent the last year as president of the Association Of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC). If you're not keeping up on editorial cartoonist issues, most of them are hit here: the declining number of staff positions, the reverberations of the Charlie Hebdo murders, the shift from national to international models for cartooning.

Two things that he mentions in passing I failed to report. One is that Adam Zyglis will be taking over as president. Zyglis is still in his early thirties, but this year's reigning Pulitzer winner is more of a traditional success story than a new media. He seems well-liked by his peers so it should be interesting to see how things go under his watch. The other news is that Ann Telnaes will be president after Zyglis -- AAEC elects a president a year ahead of time, which I've always liked -- and she is also super-smart and much admired. Ironically, although she's of a generation to Zyglis', Telnaes has enjoyed success recently for her ability to adapt to an animated model.

I'm a huge fan of editorial cartoons, and it's been fascinating to watch them over the last two decades and doubly so after the 2008-2009 Great American Newspaper Wipe-Out. That field has always seemed like there's tons to do in just getting back to their traditional role, and making good work across the board -- for instance, I don't think anyone distinguished themselves with work in either of the last two presidential elections, which seems odd -- while there's also a ticking clock to find new ways to ply that trade as the media landscape changes. And despite all this attention, I don't think we've seen the solution or series of solutions that we might have hoped for in the mid-1990s.
posted 11:55 pm PST | Permalink

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