Online Cartoon Auction to benefit ‘Cartoons for the Classroom’

Got a note from Clay Bennett, one of my favorite editorial cartoonists, the other day.

Check this out:

From May 10-20, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) will be holding an online auction of cartoons by some of America’s premier political cartoonists. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the ‘Cartoons for the
Classroom’ program.

Currently used by thousands of educators worldwide, ‘Cartoons for the Classroom’ provides a biweekly lesson plan that employs editorial cartoons as a tool for instruction in history, civics, current events, and critical thinking. Offered at no cost, the program has proved to be an entertaining and valuable resource to students of all ages and teachers in a variety of subjects. The success of ‘Cartoons for the Classroom’ is a testament to both the versatility of the program and the enduring popularity of editorial cartoons.

The AAEC hopes to keep this program available for some time to come. With that goal in mind, the association is raising operating funds by auctioning off cartoons from 30 of America’s most acclaimed editorial cartoonists (16 Pulitzer Prize winners included). The bidding won’t begin until Thursday, May 10, but the cartoons are available for a sneak preview at Some of the items being auctioned are original drawings, others are signed prints, but every single cartoon in the collection is the creation of one of finest political cartoonists working today.

The list of participants reads like a who’s who in editorial cartooning: Nick Anderson, Tony Auth, Rex Babin, Clay Bennett, Steve Breen, Jeff Danziger, Matt Davies, Walt Handelsman, David Horsey, Kevin Kallaugher, Mike Keefe, Steve Kelley, Dick Locher, Mike Luckovich, Jimmy Margulies, Jim Morin, Jack Ohman, Joel Pett, Bruce Plante, Ted Rall, Michael Ramirez, Rob Rogers, Steve Sack, Ben Sargent, John Sherffius, Ed Stein, Ann Telnaes, Mike Thompson, Tom Toles, and Signe Wilkinson.

The gavel will bring this auction to a close at 7:00 PM, Sunday, May 20, so don’t miss your chance to bid on your favorite cartoon. Not only will you be supporting a terrific program, but you’ll also be collecting a unique example of editorial cartooning at its very best.

There’s a ton of cool stuff, and my wife is a educator, so this is a win/win/win/win! (I don’t know about the last two ‘wins,’ but let’s just agree that I’m excited.)

I’m going to bid as we speak… You go too!

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Spider-Man 3 – Review

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I saw Spidey 3 last night; at the Imax no less.

First things first, everything I’d heard about the Sandman effects are true and then some. Wow, wow, and wow. Honestly, the scene where he first reforms himself is oddly beautiful.

The action scenes are all tour de forces, the story felt like a good logical move forward from the last two films, and all of the acting is very good. Even small parts are given their chance to shimmer. (I’m looking at you, Mageina Tovah.)

But for all the spectacle, humor and pathos, you can’t help but get the feeling that Raimi indulged himself occasionally to the detriment of other plot elements.

Example: An extensive odd dance number where Peter rubs Gwen Stacy in MJ’s face lasts far too long, while Harry accepting his father’s death suffers from quick inattention, and a poor monologue/plot device to boot.

As a Spidey fan, of course I was excited about the inclusion of Gwen Stacy and Venom, but to be perfectly honest, neither were really necessary to the plot. My impression is that someone pushed for them, and Raimi acquiessed to a) please management, and, b) avoid a lesser director mucking about with them later. (Of course I could be wrong, but I seem to remember an online video of Avi Arad talking about convincing Raimi to include Venom.)

All of this being said, it is a really fun movie, and while lacking a final polish, is still better than 90% of the genre being ground out these days. It did not, however, manage to crack my top three superhero flick list:

1) Spider-Man 2

2) Batman (1989)

3) The Incredibles, tied with any Michelle Pfeiffer scene in Batman Returns

Go check it out in the theater; it’s worth it.

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