June 17th, 2010 5:33 pm | by Hadley Malcolm News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Cartoonists Draw on Portland for the Weekend

Editorial cartoon

A group of under-recognized and unique newspapermen is at Portland State University this week.

Carrying Macbooks at their 54th annual gathering, members of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists are spending time in work sessions here in Portland discussing new business models for a struggling profession — and then roaming downtown Portland with a pub crawl.

For people whose work often forces them to be secluded for hours on end, cartoonists can use the gathering to connect with other cartoonists and shoot the shit about “who's good, who's bad, who should win the Pulitzer, how the world sucks…” said local freelancer Matt Bors.

“It's a very difficult time for cartoonists trying to find venues for their cartoons,” said Harry Katz, curator for the Herb Block Foundation.

“Being an editorial cartoonist is like being a blind javelin thrower at the Olympics," adds Dick Locher, a long-time Chicago Tribune cartoonist and 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner who's attending his 33rdAAEC convention. "We don't win many awards. But we keep the crowd alert.”

On a happier note, cartoonists are finding new and alternative ways to make their ideas seen and heard. My personal favorite? This website — sardonika.com, which is dedicated to the made-up island of Sardonika and the "think tank that runs it."
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