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Editorial cartoonists travel to SLC for convention, auction

By Keith McCord | Posted - Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:51pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — The artists who take jabs at politicians and hot-button issues with their drawings are in town this week for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention.

A cartoon has to convey the message in one small space roughly 5 by 7 inches in the opinion section of a newspaper. Those attending this convention are the best of the best — a least 10 Pulitzer Prize winners will be attending the convention.

Most political cartoonists will say they have been sketching, drawing or doodling since they were kids.

"I can't remember a time when I wasn't sketching. I would be on the floor with the Sunday funnies sketching peanuts, Garfield or whatever," said Rob Rogers with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He's been drawing for the paper for about 30 years.

"It takes a very complex issue and narrows it down to one thing, so there's a lot in there," Rogers said.

The subject matter in these type of cartoons is primarily topical, and cartoonists like have their work published within a few hours of creating it.


"I draw what I think and post my opinions on other people … I get to draw every morning and it's a dream job."

"I draw what I think and post my opinions on other people," said Daryl Cagle, an editorial cartoonist from Santa Barbara. "I draw in my own style I get to draw every morning and it's a dream job."

Opening up the morning paper and checking the daily editorial cartoon has been a reader habit for years. The discipline, however, is changing.

Fewer newspapers are employing full-time cartoonists and are using syndicated work instead. Whether in print or online, local or otherwise, political cartoons are often measured by their ability to generate interest.

"We like it when the people we want to disagree with disagree with us, and we get lots of angry mail," Cagle said. "You know, cartoonists will have the angry mail on the wall."

Auction details

Date: Saturday, June 29
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Little America Hotel at 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City

After seminars and the speeches, this week's convention will wrap up with an auction of about 30 original pieces by some of the nation's best editorial cartoonists. The auction is open to the public.

"Here's a chance to first, see how the cartoonists do their work," said Pat Bagley, an organizer for the convention. "It's also a chance to own a cartoon by a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist."

The auction will be held at the Little America Hotel at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

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