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!

Kartoonists for Kids Kaper 2009

If memory
serves me, this was the 7th annual trek to Sick Kids, aka Toronto’s Hospital
for Sick Children.

My wife
Dawn is the dynamo behind the scenes, emailing, faxing, phoning, goading
and reminding all those talented cartoonists who live within 50 miles to
spend a couple of hours mesmerizing those little people whose health has
been unfairly treated by fate.

The rewards?
Maybe a wan smile, or a giggle, or sometimes a gratifying belly laugh from
a pale-faced tyke hooked up to a web of tubes.

A visit
on Valentine’s day offers kids the chance to ‘art direct’ a drawing for
themselves, or one to give a parent or sibling. It’s empowering, gives
them a chance to be in charge for a while, a change from the daily grind
where everyone wants a piece of them ? doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.

wise, cartoonists can’t get too complacent ? requests can range from cupid
to the Hulk to Superman. So it’s wise to have reference material tucked
into the back of your mind, or the drawing pad. My strategy is to draw
a cartoon of a cupid character complete with bow and arrows, then fill
in the name of the recipient the patient has chosen, though now and then
the little one will request their own name on the card instead \, which
is great too!

On this
last Kaper, one 9 year-old requested Batman armed with a bow and arrow.
My finished cartoon looked more like Robin Hood with a mask and pointy
ears, but I had one supremely satisfied client.

To be honest,
the hospital excursion can be traumatic and is not recommended for the
faint of heart. Each cartoonist is accompanied by a child life specialist
or hospital volunteer to playrooms, units or individual rooms. A couple
of years ago I was assigned to the intensive care floor, where I was kitted
out in hospital hat, gown and slippers.

What we,
the cartoonists supply is a brief break from the routine of doctors and
nurses, injections, heart monitors, ongoing therapy and the endless what
if’s required to get these little ones up and running and laughing.

Dawn and
I are deeply indebted to the members of the NCS, AAEC, ACEC and the local
cartoonists group, the Society of Ontario Cartoonists (SOC).

Pass on
the good word. The kids at your local hospital could benefit from a visit
anytime, or make this your group or chapter Valentine’s Day outing.

Martin, Toronto

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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.