Dear fellow American cartoonists, satirists, animators and graphic journalists: I’m Bullish on 2016, and you should be too.
Yes, the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo has in some ways altered the lens in which we view our craft. But in response to this and other assaults on the rights of cartoonists around the globe, we have strengthened our resolve as protectors of free speech. We have and must continue to remind the public of our vital importance to democracy and journalism, especially in light of such atrocities. That’s imperative to our mission and to the future survival of our great profession.
In 2015, we were fortunate to have the leadership of Jack Ohman, who held the reins on fiscal discipline after Matt Wuerker and Mark Fiore continued to right our ship financially. Jack believed in the power of using our voice as an organization for the greater good, and I plan to continue this practice to speak out for the rights of cartoonists. Rest assured that the brilliant Ann Telnaes also believes strongly in these principles, and will further this mission when she assumes the duties of the presidency in 2017. In addition to having the privilege of working beside Jack and Ann (two pillars in our industry), I’m honored to be able to serve all of you this coming year with the help of a high caliber Board: VP Matt Bors, Secretary Monte Wolverton, and Directors Steve Artley, Nate Beeler and Kevin Siers.
Looking forward, the ink bottle is truly half full. We are in the makings of a fantastic partnership with Duke University to celebrate our talents in Durham NC next September 21st- 24th (Bull Durham here we come!). We are lucky to have a dedicated team working to make it happen in Kal, JP Trostle and Cullum Rogers. In addition, we already have our 2017 meeting set for the Big Apple, hosted by Newsday and Matt Davies (you heard that right, a newspaper is actually hosting us).
Another exciting development in the works is the beginnings of a full website redesign and rebranding. Jack Ohman and I have both secured funds dedicated to making this happen. I have found a top rate boutique developer here in Buffalo who will fully bring our organization into the 21st century. The new site will be adaptive to mobile devices and have a slick new look, properly reflecting the professionalism and prestige of our group. The site will enhance both our ability to promote our craft and function as an organization. In coinciding with the redesign, I am announcing a member’s contest to redesign our organization’s logo. While the current logo will remain in the running, an ink bottle doesn’t quite capture the digital nature of much of our work. A new site calls for a new look, and who better to take on the task than a bunch of witty visual artists? More to come on this…
To summarize in the words of Trump: this year’s going to be Huge. I’ve assembled the greatest, most brilliant group of people, who love me, to fix everything. I’m building a firewall and putting all cartoonists in a database. We will have so much winning that you may get bored with it. Believe me. Oh and f*@# Megyn Kelly.
Until next time… Cheers!