A cartoon is a type of illustration, sometimes animated, typically in a non-realistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over time, but the modern usage usually refers to either: an image or series of images intended for satire, caricature, or humor; or a motion picture that relies on a sequence of illustrations for its animation. Someone who creates cartoons in the first sense is called a cartoonist ,and in the second sense they are usually called an animator .
The concept originated in the Middle Ages, and first described a preparatory drawing for a piece of art, such as a painting, fresco, tapestry, or stained glass window. In the 19th century, beginning in Punch magazine in 1843, cartoon came to refer – ironically at first – to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers. Then it also was used for political cartoons and comic strips. When the medium developed, in the early 20th century, it began to refer to animated films which resembled print cartoons.
A cartoon (from Italian : cartone and Dutch : karton—words describing strong, heavy paper or pasteboard) is a full-size drawing made on sturdy paper as a design or modello for a painting, stained glass, or tapestry. Cartoons were typically used in the production of frescoes, to accurately link the component parts of the composition when painted on damp plaster over a series of days (giornate). In media such as stained tapestry or stained glass, the cartoon was handed over by the artist to the skilled craftsmen who produced the final work.
Such cartoons often have pinpricks along the outlines of the design so that a bag of soot patted or "pounced" over a cartoon, held against the wall, would leave black dots on the plaster ("pouncing"). Cartoons by painters, such as the Raphael Cartoons in London, and examples by Leonardo da Vinci, are highly prized in their own right. Tapestry cartoons, usually colored, were followed with the eye by the weavers on the loom.
In print media, a cartoon is an illustration or series of illustrations, usually humorous in intent. This usage dates from 1843, when Punch magazine applied the term to satirical drawings in its pages,particularly sketches by John Leech. The first of these parodied the preparatory cartoons for grand historical frescoes in the then-new Palace of Westminster. The original title for these drawings was Mr Punch's face is the letter Q and the new title "cartoon" was intended to be ironic, a reference to the self-aggrandizing posturing of Westminster politicians.
Cartoons can be divided into gag cartoons, which include editorial cartoons, and comic strips.
Modern single-panel gag cartoons, found in magazines, generally consist of a single drawing with a typeset caption positioned beneath, or—less often—a speech balloon.Newspaper syndicates have also distributed single-panel gag cartoons by Mel Calman, Bill Holman, Gary Larson, George Lichty, Fred Neher and others. Many consider New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno the father of the modern gag cartoon (as did Arno himself). The roster of magazine gag cartoonists includes Charles Addams, Charles Barsotti, and Chon Day.
Bill Hoest, Jerry Marcus, and Virgil Partch began as magazine gag cartoonists and moved to syndicated comic strips. Richard Thompson illustrated numerous feature articles in The Washington Post before creating his Cul de Sac comic strip. The sports section of newspapers usually featured cartoons, sometimes including syndicated features such as Chester "Chet" Brown's All in Sport .
Editorial cartoons are found almost exclusively in news publications and news websites. Although they also employ humor, they are more serious in tone, commonly using irony or satire. The art usually acts as a visual metaphor to illustrate a point of view on current social or political topics. Editorial cartoons often include speech balloons and sometimes use multiple panels. Editorial cartoonists of note include Herblock, David Low, Jeff MacNelly, Mike Peters, and Gerald Scarfe.
Comic strips, also known as cartoon strips in the United Kingdom, are found daily in newspapers worldwide, and are usually a short series of cartoon illustrations in sequence. In the United States, they are not commonly called "cartoons" themselves, but rather "comics" or "funnies". Nonetheless, the creators of comic strips—as well as comic books and graphic novels—are usually referred to as "cartoonists". Although humor is the most prevalent subject matter, adventure and drama are also represented in this medium. Some noteworthy cartoonists of humorous comic strips are Scott Adams, Steve Bell, Charles Schulz, E. C. Segar, Mort Walker and Bill Watterson.
Political cartoons are like illustrated editorial that serve visual commentaries on political events. They offer subtle criticism which are cleverly quoted with humour and satire to the extent that the criticized does not get embittered.
The pictorial satire of William Hogarth is regarded as a precursor to the development of political cartoons in 18th century England.George Townshend produced some of the first overtly political cartoons and caricatures in the 1750s. The medium began to develop in the latter part of the 18th century under the direction of its great exponents, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, both from London. Gillray explored the use of the medium for lampooning and caricature, and has been referred to as the father of the political cartoon. By calling the king, prime ministers and generals to account for their behaviour, many of Gillray's satires were directed against George III, depicting him as a pretentious buffoon, while the bulk of his work was dedicated to ridiculing the ambitions of revolutionary France and Napoleon. George Cruikshank became the leading cartoonist in the period following Gillray, from 1815 until the 1840s. His career was renowned for his social caricatures of English life for popular publications.
By the mid 19th century, major political newspapers in many other countries featured cartoons commenting on the politics of the day. Thomas Nast, in New York City, showed how realistic German drawing techniques could redefine American cartooning.His 160 cartoons relentlessly pursued the criminal characteristic of the Tweed machine in New York City, and helped bring it down. Indeed, Tweed was arrested in Spain when police identified him from Nast's cartoons. In Britain, Sir John Tenniel was the toast of London. In France under the July Monarchy, Honoré Daumier took up the new genre of political and social caricature, most famously lampooning the rotund King Louis Philippe.
Political cartoons can be humorous or satirical, sometimes with piercing effect. The target of the humor may complain, but can seldom fight back. Lawsuits have been very rare; the first successful lawsuit against a cartoonist in over a century in Britain came in 1921, when J. H. Thomas, the leader of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR), initiated libel proceedings against the magazine of the British Communist Party. Thomas claimed defamation in the form of cartoons and words depicting the events of "Black Friday", when he allegedly betrayed the locked-out Miners' Federation. To Thomas, the framing of his image by the far left threatened to grievously degrade his character in the popular imagination. Soviet-inspired communism was a new element in European politics, and cartoonists unrestrained by tradition tested the boundaries of libel law. Thomas won the lawsuit and restored his reputation.
Cartoons such as xkcd have also found their place in the world of science, mathematics, and technology. For example, the cartoon Wonderlab looked at daily life in the chemistry lab. In the U.S., one well-known cartoonist for these fields is Sidney Harris. Many of Gary Larson's cartoons have a scientific flavor.
Books with cartoons are usually magazine-format "comic books," or occasionally reprints of newspaper cartoons.
In Britain in the 1930s adventure magazines became quite popular, especially those published by DC Thomson; the publisher sent observers around the country to talk to boys and learn what they wanted to read about. The story line in magazines, comic books and cinema that most appealed to boys was the glamorous heroism of British soldiers fighting wars that were exciting and just.D.C. Thomson issued the first The Dandy Comic in December 1937. It had a revolutionary design that broke away from the usual children's comics that were published broadsheet in size and not very colourful. Thomson capitalized on its success with a similar product The Beano in 1938.
On some occasions, new gag cartoons have been created for book publication, as was the case with Think Small , a 1967 promotional book distributed as a giveaway by Volkswagen dealers. Bill Hoest and other cartoonists of that decade drew cartoons showing Volkswagens, and these were published along with humorous automotive essays by such humorists as H. Allen Smith, Roger Price and Jean Shepherd. The book's design juxtaposed each cartoon alongside a photograph of the cartoon's creator.
Because of the stylistic similarities between comic strips and early animated movies, cartoon came to refer to animation, and the word cartoon is currently used in reference to both animated cartoons and gag cartoons.While animation designates any style of illustrated images seen in rapid succession to give the impression of movement, the word "cartoon" is most often used as a descriptor for television programs and short films aimed at children, possibly featuring anthropomorphized animals, superheroes, the adventures of child protagonists or related themes.
In the 1980s, cartoon was shortened to toon, referring to characters in animated productions. This term was popularized in 1988 by the combined live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit , followed in 1990 by the animated TV series Tiny Toon Adventures .
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings, often cartoon, arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with daily horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in newspapers, while Sunday papers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the advent of the internet, online comic strips began to appear as webcomics.
Zenas Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur (1914). For contractual reasons, he worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.
Comics is a medium that expresses narratives or other ideas using a series of still images, usually combined with text. It typically takes the form of a sequence of panels of images. Textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia can indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. The size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. Cartooning and other forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form which uses photographic images. Common forms include gag-a-day comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, and comic books. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comic albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common, while online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century.
Addison Morton Walker was an American comic strip writer, best known for creating the newspaper comic strips Beetle Bailey in 1950 and Hi and Lois in 1954. He signed Addison to some of his strips.
George Joseph Herriman was an American cartoonist best known for the comic strip Krazy Kat (1913–1944). More influential than popular, Krazy Kat had an appreciative audience among those in the arts. Gilbert Seldes' article "The Krazy Kat Who Walks by Himself" was the earliest example of a critic from the high arts giving serious attention to a comic strip. The Comics Journal placed the strip first on its list of the greatest comics of the 20th century. Herriman's work has been a primary influence on cartoonists such as Will Eisner, Charles M. Schulz, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Bill Watterson, and Chris Ware.
A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons or comics. Cartoonists include the artists who handle all aspects of the work and those who contribute only part of the production. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.
An editorial cartoonist, also known as a political cartoonist, is an artist who draws editorial cartoons that contain some level of political or social commentary. Their cartoons are used to convey and question an aspect of daily news or current affairs in a national or international context. Political cartoonists generally adopt a caricaturist style of drawing, to capture the likeness of a politician or subject. They may also employ humor or satire to ridicule an individual or group, emphasize their point of view or comment on a particular event.
A political cartoon, a type of editorial cartoon, is a graphic with caricatures of public figures, expressing the artist's opinion. An artist who writes and draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. They typically combine artistic skill, hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and draw attention to corruption, political violence and other social ills.
Richard Felton Outcault was an American cartoonist. He was the creator of the series The Yellow Kid and Buster Brown, and is considered a key pioneer of the modern comic strip.
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and editor. His best-known work includes writing and editing the parodic comic book Mad from 1952 until 1956, and illustrating the Little Annie Fanny strips in Playboy from 1962 until 1988. His work is noted for its satire and parody of popular culture, social critique, and attention to detail. Kurtzman's working method has been likened to that of an auteur, and he expected those who illustrated his stories to follow his layouts strictly.
Marjorie Henderson Buell was an American cartoonist who worked under the pen name Marge. She was best known as the creator of Little Lulu.
William Morgan DeBeck, better known as Billy DeBeck, was an American cartoonist. He is most famous as the creator of the comic strip Barney Google, later retitled Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. The strip was especially popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and featured a number of well-known characters, including the title character, Bunky, Snuffy Smith, and Spark Plug the race horse. Spark Plug was a merchandising phenomenon, and has been called the Snoopy of the 1920s.
Little Annie Fanny is a comics series by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. It appeared in 107 two to seven-page episodes in Playboy magazine from October 1962 to September 1988. Little Annie Fanny is a humorous satire of contemporary American society and its sexual mores. Annie Fanny, the title character, is a statuesque, buxom young blonde woman who innocently finds herself nude in every episode. The series is notable for its painted, luminous color artwork and for being the first full-scale, multi-page comics feature in a major American publication.
Tom Richmond is an American freelance humorous illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist whose work has appeared in many national and international publications since 1990. He was chosen as the 2011 "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year", also known as "The Reuben Award", winner by the National Cartoonists Society.
John Reiner is a cartoonist who collaborates with writer Bunny Hoest on three cartoon series: The Lockhorns, syndicated by King Features, and Laugh Parade and Howard Huge.
This is a timeline of significant events in comics prior to the 20th century.
Javad Alizadeh is an Iranian professional cartoonist best known for his caricatures of politicians, comic actors, footballers, and for his scientific/philosophical column titled 4D Humor, which has won awards from Italy, China and Japan. An active artist since 1970, his works have been published in international publications. He is the founder of the leading monthly cartoon magazine Humor & Caricature and is its founding and current publisher and editor-in-chief.
Comics has developed specialized terminology. Some several attempts have been made to formalize and define the terminology of comics by authors such as Will Eisner, Scott McCloud, R. C. Harvey and Dylan Horrocks. Much of the terminology in English is under dispute, so this page will list and describe the most common terms used in comics.
Little Sammy Sneeze was a comic strip by American cartoonist Winsor McCay. In each episode the titular Sammy sneezed himself into an awkward or disastrous predicament. The strip ran from July 24, 1904 until December 9, 1906 in the New York Herald, where McCay was on the staff. It was McCay's first successful comic strip; he followed it with Dream of the Rarebit Fiend later in 1904, and his best-known strip Little Nemo in Slumberland in 1905.
Walter Hugh McDougall was an American cartoonist. He produced some of the earliest full color newspaper comic strips, and was one of the first producers of regular political cartoons in American daily papers. His satirical cartoons, published in outlets such as the New York World and The North American, were influential in the 1884 U.S. presidential election, and soon after political cartoons became a fixture in American papers. He also drew children's comic strips, including Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum, and has been called the first syndicated cartoonist for his contributions to the weekly columns of humorist Bill Nye. His books include The Hidden City (1891) and The Rambillicus Book (1903).
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