Cartoonist

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A cartoonist (also comic strip creator) is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

Cartoon Form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art

A cartoon is a type of illustration, possibly 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.

Book medium for a collection of words and/or pictures to represent knowledge or a fictional story, often manifested in bound paper and ink, or in e-books

As a physical object, a book is a stack of usually rectangular pages oriented with one edge tied, sewn, or otherwise fixed together and then bound to the flexible spine of a protective cover of heavier, relatively inflexible material. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, and each side of a leaf is a page.

Comic strip short serialized comics

A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in South Korea alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes.

Contents

History

In the West

The English satirist and editorial cartoonist William Hogarth, who emerged In the 18th century, has been credited with pioneering Western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects". Much of his work poked fun at contemporary politics and customs; illustrations in such style are often referred to as "Hogarthian". [1] Following the work of Hogarth, political cartoons began to develop in England 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, calling the king (George III), prime ministers and generals to account, and has been referred to as the father of the political cartoon. [2]

Satire Genre of arts and literature in the form of humor or ridicule

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

William Hogarth English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist

William Hogarth FRSA was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".

In comics studies, sequential art is a term proposed by comics artist Will Eisner to describe art forms that use images deployed in a specific order for the purpose of graphic storytelling or conveying information. The best-known example of sequential art is comics.

While never a professional cartoonist, Benjamin Franklin is credited with having the first cartoon published in an American newspaper. [3] In the 19th century, professional cartoonists such as Thomas Nast introduced other familiar American political symbols, such as the Republican elephant. [3]

Benjamin Franklin American polymath and a Founding Father of the United States

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Nast American cartoonist

Thomas Nast was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon". He was the scourge of Democratic Representative "Boss" Tweed and the Tammany Hall Democratic party political machine. Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party (GOP). Contrary to popular belief, Nast did not create Uncle Sam, Columbia, or the Democratic donkey, though he did popularize these symbols through his artwork. Nast was associated with the magazine Harper's Weekly from 1859 to 1860 and from 1862 until 1886.

Benjamin Franklin's Join, or Die (1754), credited as the first cartoon published in an American newspaper. Benjamin Franklin - Join or Die.jpg
Benjamin Franklin's Join, or Die (1754), credited as the first cartoon published in an American newspaper.
Charles Dana Gibson was an influential American cartoonist in the early 20th century. Charles Dana Gibson 02.jpg
Charles Dana Gibson was an influential American cartoonist in the early 20th century.

During the 20th century, numerous magazines carried single-panel gag cartoons by such freelance cartoonists as Charles Addams, Irwin Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb, and John Norment. These were almost always published in black and white, although Collier's often carried cartoons in color. The debut of Playboy introduced full-page color cartoons by Jack Cole, Eldon Dedini, Roy Raymonde and others. Single-panel cartoonists syndicated to newspapers included Dave Breger, Hank Ketcham, George Lichty, Fred Neher, Irving Phillips, and J. R. Williams.

20th century Century

The 20th (twentieth) century was a century that began on January 1, 1901 and ended on December 31, 2000. It was the tenth and final century of the 2nd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 1900s which began on January 1, 1900 and ended on December 31, 1999.

A freelancer or freelance worker, is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.

Charles Addams cartoonist

Charles Samuel Addams was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. He signed his cartoons Chas Addams. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as the Addams Family, have been the basis for spin-offs in several other forms of media.

Comics

Comic strips received widespread distribution to mainstream newspapers by syndicates [4] such as the Universal Press Syndicate, United Media, or King Features. Sunday strips go to a coloring company such as American Color before they are published.

Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites

Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, political cartoons, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. The syndicates offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own and/or represent copyrights. Other terms for the service include a newspaper syndicate, a press syndicate, and a feature syndicate.

Universal Press Syndicate (UPS), a subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, was an independent press syndicate. It distributed lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and other content. Popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert and News of the Weird. Founded in 1970, it was merged in July 2009 with Uclick to form Universal Uclick.

United Media American editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service

United Media was a large editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service based in the United States, owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, that operated from 1978 to 2011. It syndicated 150 comics and editorial columns worldwide. Its core businesses were the United Feature Syndicate and the Newspaper Enterprise Association.

Some comic strip creators publish in the alternative press or on the Internet. Comic strip artists may also sometimes work in book-length form, creating graphic novels. Both vintage and current strips receive reprints in book collections.

Alternative media are media that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Alternative media take many forms including print, audio, video, Internet and street art. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada, and more recently online open publishing journalism sites such as Indymedia.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet".

Graphic novel book with primarily comics contents

A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is generally used for comics periodicals.

The major comic book publishers (such as Marvel or DC) utilize teams of cartoonists to produce the art (typically separating pencil work, inking and lettering while the color is added digitally by colorists). When a consistent artistic style is wanted among different cartoonists (such as Archie Comics), character model sheets may be used as reference.

Calum MacKenzie, in his preface to the exhibition catalog, The Scottish Cartoonists (Glasgow Print Studio Gallery, 1979) defined the selection criteria:

The difference between a cartoonist and an illustrator was the same as the difference between a comedian and a comedy actor—the former both deliver their own lines and take full responsibility for them, the latter could always hide behind the fact that it was not his entire creation. [5]
Dip pens have traditionally been a popular drawing tool for cartoonists. Winsor McCay - Little Nemo film still - drawing.jpg
Dip pens have traditionally been a popular drawing tool for cartoonists.

There are many books of cartoons in both paperback and hardcover, such as the collections of cartoons from The New Yorker. Prior to the 1960s, cartoons were mostly ignored by museums and art galleries. In 1968, the cartoonist and comedian Roger Price opened the first New York City gallery devoted exclusively to cartoons, mainly work by the leading magazine gag cartoonists. Today, there are several museums devoted to cartoons, notably the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, run by curator Jenny E. Robb at Ohio State University.

Creation

Comics artists usually sketch a drawing in pencil before going over the drawing in India ink, using either a dip pen or a brush. Artists may also use a lightbox to create the final image in ink. Some artists, Brian Bolland, for example, use computer graphics, with the published work as the first physical appearance of the artwork. By many definitions (including McCloud's, above), the definition of comics extends to digital media such as webcomics and the mobile comic.

The nature of the comics work being created determines the number of people who work on its creation, with successful comic strips and comic books being produced through a studio system, in which an artist assembles a team of assistants to help create the work. However, works from independent companies, self-publishers, or those of a more personal nature can be produced by a single creator.

Within the comic book industry of North America, the studio system has come to be the main method of creation. Through its use by the industry, the roles have become heavily codified, and the managing of the studio has become the company's responsibility, with an editor discharging the management duties. The editor assembles a number of creators and oversees the work to publication.

Any number of people can assist in the creation of a comic book in this way, from a plotter, a breakdown artist, a penciller, an inker, a scripter, a letterer, and a colorist, with some roles being performed by the same person.

In contrast, a comic strip tends to be the work of a sole creator, usually termed a cartoonist. However, it is not unusual for a cartoonist to employ the studio method, particularly when a strip become successful. Mort Walker employed a studio, while Bill Watterson and Charles Schulz did not. Gag, political, and editorial cartoonists tend to work alone as well, though a cartoonist may use assistants.

Web cartoonist

Many artists have used the web since its inception to publish their works online. This eventually led to the creation of webcomics thanks in part to many titles being able to be read for free and anyone being able to publish them. Many of the artists who create these webcomics are known as web cartoonists due to the fact that the vast majority of webcomics are considered to be online versions of comic-strips and cartoons rather than full-fledged comic books like digital comics. It is hard to pinpoint when the actual term was created but the earliest use was 2001 with the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Some well known web cartoonists include Randall Munroe of xkcd , Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content and Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade .

Art styles

Scott McCloud, whose work Understanding Comics identified the different styles of art used within comics. ScottMcCloud Angouleme2000.jpg
Scott McCloud, whose work Understanding Comics identified the different styles of art used within comics.

While almost all comics art is in some sense abbreviated, and also while every artist who has produced comics work brings their own individual approach to bear, some broader art styles have been identified. Comic strip artists Cliff Sterrett, Frank King, and Gus Arriola often used unusual, colorful backgrounds, sometimes veering into abstract art.

The basic styles have been identified as realistic and cartoony, with a huge middle ground for which R. Fiore has coined the phrase liberal. Fiore has also expressed distaste with the terms realistic and cartoony, preferring the terms literal and freestyle, respectively. [6]

Scott McCloud has created "The Big Triangle" [7] as a tool for thinking about comics art. He places the realistic representation in the bottom left corner, with iconic representation, or cartoony art, in the bottom right, and a third identifier, abstraction of image, at the apex of the triangle. This allows placement and grouping of artists by triangulation.

McCloud also notes that in several traditions, there is a tendency to have the main characters drawn rather simplistic and cartoony, while the backgrounds and environment are depicted realistically. Thus, he argues, the reader easily identifies with the characters, (as they are similar to one's idea of self), whilst being immersed into a world, that's three-dimensional and textured. [9] Good examples of this phenomenon include Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin (in his "personal trademark" Ligne claire style), Will Eisner's Spirit and Osamu Tezuka's Buddha , among many others.

Tools

Artists use a variety of pencils, paint brushes, or paper, typically Bristol board, and a waterproof ink. [10] When inking, many artists preferred to use a Winsor & Newton Series 7, #3 brush as the main tool, which could be used in conjunction with other brushes, dip pens, a fountain pen, and/or a variety of technical pens or markers. Mechanical tints can be employed to add grey tone to an image. An artist might paint with acrylics, gouache, poster paints, or watercolors. Color can also be achieved through crayons, pastels or colored pencils.

Eraser, rulers, templates, set squares and a T-square assist in creating lines and shapes. A drawing table provides an angled work surface with lamps sometimes attached to the table. A light box allows an artist to trace his pencil work when inking, allowing for a looser finish. Knives and scalpels fill a variety of needs, including cutting board or scraping off mistakes. A cutting mat aids paper trimming. Process white is a thick opaque white material for covering mistakes. Adhesives and tapes help composite an image from different sources.

See also

Related Research Articles

Webcomics are comics published on a website or mobile app. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers or in comic books.

An editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is a drawing containing a commentary 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.

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References

  1. The British Museum. Beer Street, William Hogarth - Fine Art Print Archived 2010-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  2. "Satire, sewers and statesmen: why James Gillray was king of the cartoon". The Guardian. 16 June 2015.
  3. 1 2 Hess & Northrop 2011, p. 24.
  4. "The Comics Reporter" . Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  5. MacKenzie, Calum. The Scottish Cartoonists. Glasgow Print Studio Gallery, 1979.
  6. 1 2 Fiore 2010.
  7. "The Big Triangle". scottmccloud.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  8. Santos, 1998. The Golden Era... June 1938 to 1945, Part I
  9. McCloud 1993, p. 48.
  10. "16 essential art tools for artists".

Works cited

Further reading

Societies and organizations

Communities