Annual Convention

Annual Convention October 3-6

The AAEC and Association of Canadian Cartoonists will be teaming up with the Université du Québec à Montréal for a 3-day celebration political cartoonists, October 3-6, 2024.

Online registration coming soon!

Jake Tapper Weighs in on the Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning

A few weeks after the AAEC and three dozen past Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists protested recent changes to the Editorial Cartooning category of journalism’s ‘biggest award’, aspiring cartoonist (and CNN anchor) Jake Tapper has written to the Pulitzer Prize Board encouraging them to rethink their decisions. Here is the letter Tapper sent, reprinted here with his permission.


May 31, 2022

To the Pulitzer Board members:

After reading the letter recently sent to you by a group of Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonists, I felt personally compelled to write to you in support of their mission.

As an erstwhile political cartoonist who knows a bit about the power of visuals when it comes to discussing news, analysis, and opinion, I write to ask that you re-examine your decision to collapse opinionated political cartoons and illustrated news reporting into one Pulitzer Prize category. They each deserve their own recognition.

From my own experience, viewers just react differently to the animated pieces I used to create for State of the Union. Those efforts engage with a different part of viewers’ brains.  They come from a different part of my brain. And frankly, one of the reasons I stopped doing them is because as a straight news anchor, I was constantly pulling my punches, making it less effective. Quite unlike the powerful jabs and uppercuts one sees in the editorial cartoons from the left and right, whether Barry Blitt (2020) or Steve Breen (2012).

Please don’t misunderstand me: Fahmida Azim and her collaborators’ excellent visual storytelling in Insider deserved your recognition.  Graphic storytelling is a powerful art form, worthy of the Pulitzers’ efforts to boost it. I consume dozens of graphic novels every year. After MAUS, which you recognized with a special citation in 1992, was un-recommended for students in a school district recently, I purchased copies for every child in my extended family.

But graphic novels are not editorial cartoons. The move you’re making, respectfully, would be like combining the fiction and opinion writing categories for the written word. They’re just different animals. It does not take away from the power of a graphic novel or graphic storytelling to note that it takes more time to consume, and it allows more complexity, than a short editorial cartoon, the simplicity of which can be in some ways more challenging to achieve. Both are important.

As Azim and her colleagues deserved their recognition, so too do the creators of at least one of the political cartoonists whose work you reviewed — single panel, multi-paneled or animated. I shudder to think of all the influential and powerful editorial cartoons by Rollin Kirby or Herb Block or Bill Mauldin that might have evaded recognition if forced to compete with a completely different art form.

So I ask you to reconsider combining editorial cartooning and illustrated news reporting into one category, and offer instead two separate awards.

With all due appreciation for the difficulty of your job, and with thanks for listening,

Jake Tapper


Art by Jake Tapper, a self-caricature for Mad Magazine in 2017.

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The mission of the AAEC is to champion and defend editorial cartooning and free speech as essential to liberty in the United States and throughout the world.

The AAEC aims to be an international leader in support of the human, civil, and artistic rights of editorial cartoonists around the world, and to stand with other international groups in support of the profession.


Cartoons in Education

Every two weeks throughout the year, The Learning Forum and the AAEC offers CARTOONS FOR THE CLASSROOM, a free lesson resource for teachers discussing current events.  Visit for more lesson plans.