What is an editorial cartoon?
• Editorial cartoons are comics with a purpose.
• Also called political cartoons, they make a comment about issues in the news
• Editorial cartoons are opinion-based. They have a point of view. Not objective.
Why are they effective?
• Visually powerful.
• Quick and easy to read – people who won’t read an entire editorial will glance at a cartoon
• Easy to understand – they’re not often subtle, so most people get the message quickly
• The combination of words and images gives an editorial cartoonist a unique way of commenting on the news.
• Because he or she isn’t obligated to be objective, a good cartoonist can sway public opinion about an issue.
What makes editorial cartoons
• Good editorial cartoonists rely on a toolkit of persuasive and artistic techniques to generate a response in the reader.
• When used effectively, the techniques discussed on the following slides can create strong emotional and logical responses in a reader.
• Many cartoonists are interested in starting a debate or a discussion.
• You may not agree with the opinion presented, but if it prompts you to talk about it, it can be considered a success. Editorial cartoonists want to influence the public discourse.
SymbolismoOne thing stands in for something
else. Editorial cartoons rely on images. There isn’t time or space to use enough text to explain complex issues.
oAs a result, a complex issue or a large group of diverse people may be distilled down to a single image.
What do these symbolize?
• A dove?
• A beaver?
• Uncle Sam?
• A bull and a bear?
• A white flag?
• The U.S.A.
• The stock market
Exaggeration / Distortion
oCertain elements of the visual are distorted to draw extra attention to them. oWhat is distorted and how it is
distorted will depend largely on the effect the artist hopes to create.
• For example, a politician or country that is acting like a bully might be made disproportionately huge.
• An overwhelming underdog might be made just as disproportionately small.
Stereotypes• Stereotypes are more often than not
insulting, generalizations that may or may not have any basis in fact.
• That said, they can be put to incredibly effective use by immoral and/or unscrupulous people.
• Some stereotypes are less negative and can be used by the artist to create humour, etc.
Caricature • Caricatures help us identify news figures
quickly by emphasizing and exaggerating the most recognizable features of the person.
• Caricatures are not always flattering, but make it clear who the artist is drawing, even if his or her artistic skills are limited.
Humour and Irony
oHumour can sometimes take the edge off a serious or controversial subject.
oHumour can also be used to ridicule a person, group or issue that that the artist believes to be embarrassing or wrong.
oBy making people laugh at something, the artist has the power to make it less powerful.
oIrony: (a statement that is the opposite of what is meant) can also be used to draw attention to an issue that is important to the artist.
Captions and Labels
oWords can be used (very few words, however) to emphasize or explain some aspect of the drawing.
oThe artist may also use captions and labels to make it completely clear who or what is pictured in the drawing.
oA picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes one or two more words make the picture worth even more.
• Part I - Choose one of the cartoons in this PowerPoint and find another cartoon of your own choosing from one of the following sites:– http://cagle.msnbc.com/– http://www.canadiancartoonists.com/
• Complete the Political Cartoon Analysis sheet provided
• Complete the following for one of the two cartoons you’ve analyzed: –Briefly describe the cartoon
–What issue is being addressed?
–List the key objects in the cartoon
–What is the cartoon’s message? In other words, how do you think the cartoonist feels about the issue? (What gives away his or her bias?)
• Is the artist successful in sending the message? Is the cartoon effective? Why or why not?
• Is there any person or group that might be particularly offended by this cartoon? Would they be justified in this feeling?
• Submit the final product via email: [email protected]