By: Dave Astor
Association of American Editorial Cartoonists members got a look at their organization’s new Web site during a Saturday session at the AAEC convention here.
“This is one answer to improving the fate of our profession,” said Chattanooga Times Free Press cartoonist Bruce Plante, who was among the people involved in planning the site.
AAEConline.org — which is live, but still in the process of being built — includes areas for the public and AAEC members. There will be cartoons, cartoonist bios, cartooning news, a way to order reprints or originals, links to order cartoon books, lists of cartoonists available for speaking engagements, information for teachers about using cartoons in classrooms, and more. The home page will picture the day’s cartoons on a rotating basis.
The money to develop and maintain the site is coming from a Herb Block Foundation grant. The site may also generate some revenue for the AAEC. For instance, the organization will receive 5% of proceeds from book sales resulting from visits to AAEConline.org, according to Anita Austin, a Web expert instrumental in building the site (and wife of Denver Post cartoonist Mike Keefe).
There are no plans for ads on the site, said Clay Bennett, the Christian Science Monitor cartoonist who’s president-elect of the AAEC.
Speakers emphasized that a major purpose of the site is to increase awareness and support of editorial cartooning.