Annual Convention

Annual Convention October 5-8

The AAEC and Association of Canadian Cartoonists will be joining with the Cartoon Art Museum in San Franscisco for a 3-day celebration of editorial art and political cartoonists, October 5-8, 2023.

Online registration is now open!

The return of the Rex Babin Local Cartooning Award

Rex and Ahnold 2005 credit Locher

In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, tours an exhibit of California political cartoons with AAEC President Matt Davies and Rex Babin. Photo courtesy of Mary Locher.


CALL FOR ENTRIES: The 2018 Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is once again looking for the best in local cartooning. The "Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning," named after the late Sacramento artist, focuses exclusively on state and local commentary, an issue near and dear to Babin during his lifetime.

This year's award will be presented in conjunction with a retrospective of Babin's state & local cartoons at the California Museum.

Jack Ohman, Babin's long-time friend and successor to his staff position at the Sacramento Bee, will again be the main judge for the award. Ohman will be joined on the panel by the inaugural recipient, Dwane Powell, cartoonist for the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, and JP Trostle, digital editor for

"Rex Babin was not only a brilliant visual artist, but a skilled commentator whose commitment to local cartoons made him a major voice in Sacramento and California," said Ohman. "He spoke constantly of the need for cartoonists to speak effectively to their communities. The AAEC wanted to recognize the very important local and state cartooning so many of our members do every day without national fanfare."

Babin, the editorial cartoonist for the Albany Times-Union and The Sacramento Bee, passed away in 2012 at age 49 following a long fight with cancer. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003, and received the Berryman Award from the National Press Foundation the same year. His unique drawing style stood out among the work of his peers, and his fellow cartoonists elected him President of the AAEC in 2009.

While his work was syndicated nationally, Babin was a strong believer in the power of editorial cartoons to have real influence at the local level. As the cartoonist for daily newspapers in two state capitals, he saw how effective satire could sometimes be when directed at targets across the street. While at The Sacramento Bee, he drew "Caleeforneeya," a recurring strip mocking then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That criticism did not stop Schwarzenegger from appearing as the guest speaker who kicked off a 2005 gathering of cartoonists in Sacramento.

The Rex Babin Award will be presented Saturday, Sept. 22, during this year's AAEC convention in Sacramento. 

"Drawing Caleeforneeya: Political Cartoons of Rex Babin" runs from August 14 to October 14, 2018, at the California Museum, 1020 O St, Sacramento, CA 95814.

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CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning

• Please submit ten cartoons and a 150 word statement from the artist about their work and its impact. 

• Cartoons must have been published between July 2017 and June 2018.

• Cartoons should be in a 300dpi jpeg format, and emailed to 

• There is no entry fee.

• The judging criteria are: 
1) Cartoons on a local or state subject that have a strong political or social impact; 
2) Excellence in draftsmanship and ideas.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Friday, August 17, 2018.

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For more information on the award, contact Jack Ohman at For more information on the 2018 AAEC Convention, September 20-23, 2018, go to

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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.