Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Change in The Saturday Cartoons

I have bad news and I have good news. First the bad: An "outreach" effort has begun on the part of some cartoonists affiliated with the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and aimed at bloggers -- including yours truly -- who occasionally run the cartoons on their blogs. The message, at least to me, has been blunt and to the point, including threatening legal action if I continue to publish editorial cartoons without express permission of each artist.

And I won’t claim they don’t have a point. I have nothing but the highest respect for the unique combination of intellectual horsepower, wit and artistry needed to crank out the wonderful work these folks do each and every day. And it is indeed their work. But I also believe that there's a natural synergy that can take place -- even if no money can practically change hands -- between cartoonists wanting more eyeballs on their work and writers who collectively have millions of readers a month on their blogs.

So I've started my own outreach program to my favorite cartoonists to get express permission from them to run their cartoons on my site -- and here's where the good news comes in.

One of my absolute favorites, Nick Anderson, has been incredibly gracious and given me permission to republish his cartoons in exchange for me helping publicize some of his other work on my site. Nick is the editorial cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 2005 and we truly appreciate his generosity and cooperative spirit.

The Saturday Cartoons will expand as more rights are granted to me but, until then, if you only read one editorial cartoonist's work a week, we're very fortunate to have Nick as that one!