Via the AAEC Web site:
President: Rex Babin
President-Elect: Steve Kelley
Vice President: Mikhaela Reid
Secretary-Treasurer: V. Cullum Rogers
Directors: Mark Fiore, Jeff Parker, Mike Thompson
Ted Rall will also serve on the 2009-2010 Board as Immediate Past President
AAEC members also voted overwhelmingly (62 to 4) for an ethical guideline to be added to its bylaws, stating that
the act of appropriating another creator's work as one's own. If a member is accused of a clear and brazen act of plagiarism, the Board may act to permanently or temporarily suspend his or her membership.
Drawing the line between cartoonists outright stealing other cartoonists' work and what Daryl Cagle calls "Yahtzee" cartoons (when editorial cartoonists come up with the same idea simultaneously) may be difficult to police.
Popular opinion might be that its plagiarism when, for instance, more than one cartoonist draws Ted Kennedy playing touch football in heaven with Bobby and Jack. I may have seen about a half dozen of those; also: Ted waving goodbye from his sailboat silhouetted against the setting sun. But this is a coincidence, not plagiarism. The cartoonists just had the same idea on the same day.
One of the challenges with of coming up with a good cartoon is avoiding the low-hanging gag; the funny idea that could easily occur to another cartoonist. The challenge is to be a better, cleverer writer.
That's a good guideline to aim for any day.
Hat tip to Journalista!