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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.
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.
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.
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.
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".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.
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 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.In the 19th century, professional cartoonists such as Thomas Nast introduced other familiar American political symbols, such as the Republican elephant.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Comic strips received widespread distribution to mainstream newspapers by syndicatessuch 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, 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 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.
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".
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:
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.
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.
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 .
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.
Scott McCloud has created "The Big Triangle"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.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.
Artists use a variety of pencils, paint brushes, or paper, typically Bristol board, and a waterproof ink.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.
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.
A letterer is a member of a team of comic book creators responsible for drawing the comic book's text. The letterer's use of typefaces, calligraphy, letter size, and layout all contribute to the impact of the comic. The letterer crafts the comic's "display lettering": the story title lettering and other special captions and credits that usually appear on a story's first page. The letterer also writes the letters in the word balloons and draws in sound effects. Many letterers also design logos for the comic book company's various titles.
Alfonso Williamson was an American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western and science-fiction/fantasy.
A comics artist is a person working within the comics medium on comic strips, comic books, or graphic novels. The term may refer to any number of artists who contribute to produce a work in the comics form, from those who oversee all aspects of the work to those who contribute only a part.
Adventures Into Digital Comics (2006) is a documentary by Sébastien Dumesnil about the fall of the comic book industry in the 1990s and the emergence of webcomics since then. The film features interviews with various comic book and webcomic artists and authors.
Pia Jasmin Guerra is an American-born Canadian comic book artist, best known for her work as co-creator and lead penciller on the Vertigo title Y: The Last Man. She has worked in the comics industry since the 1990s, and has also contributed to Doctor Who: The Forgotten, along with DC and Marvel comics. Guerra regularly does cartoons for The New Yorker and The Nib. She is the author of the Image Comics editorial cartoon book, Me The People.
Frank McLaughlin is an American comics artist who co-created the comic book character Judomaster, drew the comic strip Gil Thorp, and assisted on such strips as Brenda Starr, Reporter and The Heart of Juliet Jones. He also wrote and illustrated books about cartooning and comic art.
John J. Liney was an American cartoonist, who drew the daily Henry comic strip for 44 years.
David Reddick is an American artist, illustrator and cartoonist. He is the creator of various popular comic strips such as "Legend of Bill," The Trek Life, Gene's Journal and Rod & Barry at Roddenberry.com, and he is a full-time cartoonist at Paws, Inc., where he works on the Garfield worldwide property.
The Twin Cities refers to the major riverside metropolitan areas of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and surrounding townships in Ramsey and Hennepin counties. In recent years, the Twin Cities has become home to a burgeoning comics scene, in the top ten for number of resident comics artists in the United States. The location of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design - one of the nation's first and only schools which offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in comic books - is likely a contributing factor. However, the global success of popular cartoonists like Minneapolis-born Charles M. Schulz must have paved the way.
Nathan Massengill is an American comic book artist, most known for his work as a brush inker. His work includes Marvel Comics' Deadpool and DC Comics' the Justice Society of America. He is best known for inking Ed McGuinness, penciler on the Deadpool series. He is also known for his inking work over pencilers Mike Wieringo, Dale Eaglesham, Steve Scott, and Sanford Greene.
Johnny Wander is a webcomic written by Ananth Hirsh and illustrated by Yuko Ota. It is published bi-weekly. In its earlier days, the comic generally focuses on slice of life stories involving Ananth, Yuko, and their friends and family following graduation from college. However, the comic occasionally encompasses unrelated fantasy storylines. The comic is currently focusing on one of its ongoing fictional storylines, "Barbarous." The name "Johnny Wander" is meant to evoke the creators' desire to use the comic to "wander" through whatever topics interest them at the moment.
Voltar was a comic strip title and comic book character created, written, and illustrated by Filipino illustrator Alfredo Alcala in 1963. A story about Vikings, Voltar was first published in the Philippines by CRAF Publications, a comic book company established by Alcala himself, together with other colleagues in the field of comics such as Virgilio Redondo, Nestor Redondo, Amado Castrillo, and Tony Caravana, among others. Voltar was described as one of the most spectacular comic strips to ever appear in Philippine comics.
Although traditionally female comics artists have long been a minority in the industry, they have made notable impact since its very beginning, and more and more female artists gain recognition, along with the maturing of the medium.
Comics has developed specialized terminology. Several attempts have been made to formalise 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.
Chris Samnee is an American comic book artist. He received the 2011 Harvey Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his work on the Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and won a 2013 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker for his work on The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom and Daredevil. He was also nominated for the 2006 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award.
Zen Pencils is an online showcase of cartoonist Gavin Aung Than's comic strips, which feature illustrations taking on famous quotations and making a visual style to create a story, shown along with the quotes. Zen Pencils focuses on adding to renown quotes being developed into visual metaphors to make insightful comics for the public. The site was first launched in February 2012 and is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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