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Digital Illustration Political Characterizations & Editorial Cartoons
How can an editorial cartoon be evaluated? A good editorial cartoon combines a clear drawing and good writing. A good editorial cartoon expresses a recognizable point-of-view or opinion. In the best instances, the cartoon cannot be read or understood by only looking at the words or only looking at the picture. Both the words and the pictures must be read together in order to understand the cartoonist’s message. Not all editorial cartoons are meant to be funny. Some of the most effective editorial cartoons are not humorous at all. Humor is only one tool available to editorial cartoonists. http://hti.osu.edu/opper/editorial-cartoons
What tools does the editorial cartoonist use to communicate ideas and opinions with readers? Caricatures are drawings of public figures in which certain physical features are exaggerated. Caricatures of Richard M. Nixon often show him as needing to shave. Stereotypes are formulaic images used to represent particular groups. A stereotypical cartoon mother might have messy hair, wear an apron, and hold a screaming baby in her arms. Symbols are pictures that represent something else by tradition. A dove is a symbol for peace. Analogies are comparisons that suggest that one thing is similar to something else. The title of a popular song or film might be used by a cartoonist to comment on a current political event. Humor is the power to evoke laughter or to express what is amusing, comical or absurd. http://hti.osu.edu/opper/editorial-cartoons
Title: Family Tree Publication Date: 1998 Credit: "Reprinted by permission of V. C. Rogers"
The beginning of editorial cartoons Luther in 1533 by Lucas Cranach
The beginning of editorial cartoons Began with the Protestant Reformation in Germany Early 16th century Martin Luther Used Visual Propaganda Convince the illiterate “masses” of his point of view The pope portrayed as the Whore of Babylon. Lucas Cranach
Passion of Christ and Anti-Christ Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. The Pope makes others kiss his feet.
Passion of Christ and Anti-Christ A crown of thorns is prepared for Christ. The pope wears three crowns of gold.
Political Cartoons in America By Benjamin Franklin first published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754 Snake whose severed parts represent the Colonies Franklin used it in support of his plan for an intercolonial association to deal with Iroquois at the Albany Congress in 1754 Popular superstition that a dead snake would come back to life if the pieces were placed next to each other
The prairie dog sickened at the sting of the hornet or a diplomatic puppet exhibiting his deceptions 1804 James Akin James Akin's earliest-known signed cartoon, "The Prairie Dog" is an anti-Jefferson satire, relating to Jefferson's covert negotiations for the purchase of West Florida from Spain in 1804. Jefferson, as a scrawny dog, is stung by a hornet with Napoleon's head into coughing up "Two Millions" in gold coins, (the secret appropriation Jefferson sought from Congress for the purchase). On the right dances a man (possibly a French diplomat) with orders from French minister Talleyrand in his pocket and maps of East Florida and West Florida in his hand. He says, "A gull for the People."
Congressional scales. A true balance1850N. Currier (Firm) : A satire on President Zachary Taylor's attempts to balance Southern and Northern interests on the question of slavery in 1850. Taylor stands atop a pair of scales, with a weight in each hand; the weight on the left reads "Wilmot Proviso" and the one on the right "Southern Rights." Below, the scales are evenly balanced, with several members of Congress.
Thomas Nast & “Boss” Tweed “This confrontation is credited by consensus with establishing once and forever a fledgling craft. . . as an enduring presence in American political culture. In its telling is exemplified those salient themes dear to the collective scholarship of the medium, such as it is-- the power of the giants of the genre to fuse creative caricature, clever situational transpositions, and honest indignation to arouse the populace and alter for the better the course of human events.” -Roger A. Fischer, Them Damned Pictures: Explorations in American Cartoon Art "The Brains," Harper's Weekly p.992 October 12, 1871
The Third-Term Panic1874Thomas Nast Nast was the first to introduce the Elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party and the donkey as that of the Democrats.
In danger1881Joseph Keppler Cartoon showing snake, representing monopolies involving senators, with tail wrapped around dome of the U.S. Capitol, facing personification of "Liberty", and "Puck" asking Uncle Sam, "What are you going to do about it?"
Our Indian Policy1875Joseph Keppler Caricature of alleged frauds in Indian supplies from peace commissioners showing man offering Indians torn blankets, empty rifle case, and spoiled beef, as (Grant Pierce?) Marsh witnesses from over fence and resolves to report the scene.
The Opening of the Congressional Session1887Joseph Keppler Cartoon showing monster, "tariff question", in large bag "surplus", saying "Here I am Again! What are you going to do with me?," in House chambers.
Germany Under All1915 This is another cartoon that parodies a national anthem. In this case it is the old German imperial anthem Deutschland UberAlles, literally translated as Germany Over All.
The treat mill~1913C.R. Macauley Cartoon marked New York World shows children turning a wheel labeled "Profits on child labor."
The road to dividends1913TAD Cartoon shows poor child carrying a heavy load followed by wealthy industrialists with mills in the background.
John Bull uses the American Flag for Protection1915 This cartoon refers to the practice taken up by the British of flying a neutral flag (especially American) when in the declared war zone. The artist chose to depict one of the most well known British merchant ships, the Lusitania, to represent the entire merchant navy. Ironically, the Lusitania would end up being torpedoed two months later. After the war it was divulged that the Lusitania was carrying an extensive shipment of munitions in the hold.
The Zimmerman Telegram1917 The British leaked the Zimmerman telegram (a dramatic German scheme to get Mexico to invade Texas and New Mexico) to the American press to pressure America to enter the war. America had been involved in the Mexican revolution since 1911, sending troops twice into Mexico. The prospect of German intervention in the Americas contravened America’s oft-stated commitment to the Monroe Doctrine and gave the Zimmerman telegram incendiary force among American popular opinion.
“Gettin’ Awful Crowded!”Clifford BerrymanJanuary 28, 1924 The Democratic race to challenge Republican President Calvin Coolidge in 1924 opened up when front-runner William McAdoo proved weaker than expected. This cartoon comments on the ever-growing field of potential candidates in the months leading up to the Democratic National Convention in New York City. Here Missouri Senator Jim Reed is the latest one to “throw his hat in the ring,” while the Democratic donkey worries about the crowded field. At the convention, former Ambassador John W. Davis received the nomination.
Well everything helps1930/1931Herbert Block As the Depression tightened its hold on American life, avid angler President Herbert Hoover cast about for ways to improve the economy. He sometimes took working vacations at his fishing camp on the Rapidan River (now in Shenandoah National Park) with members of Congress and his administration.
"This is the forest, primeval--”1929Herbert Block Concern for the depletion of our natural resources is not new. In his first daily cartoon, Herb Block deplored the clear-cutting of America's virgin forests and foreshadowed the economic wasteland to come in the next decade. The caption is the first line of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline.
Gracias!1938Edmund Duffy Cartoon shows President Lázaro Cárdenas standing behind a large pile of oil drums (labeled "Mexican oil"), offering them for sale. In 1938, President Cárdenas nationalized the foreign oil companies. Many countries, including the United States and Great Britain, retaliated by boycotting Mexican oil, but the onset of World War II resulted in the abandonment of the boycotts and an agreement by Mexico to provide compensation.
The New Order1941Arthur Szyk Published within Szyk's first year of permanent residence in the United States, The New Order, contains selections of cartoons and caricatures originally published in the New York newspaper, PM. . The title page for this book bears the caricatures of Hermann Goering (center), Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (left), and Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan (right) that appeared in the pages of PM on Sunday, January 19, 1941.
Europe is getting hot! We've got to move to the western hemisphere1944Arthur Szyk Szyk portrays the Axis plot to dominate the world. Hitler sits at the head of the table (left), flanked by Joseph Goebels and Hermann Goering on his left, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco to his right, and Heinrich Himmler across.
Don’t vote for Roosevelt!!!1944Arthur Szyk In 1944, during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fourth and final presidential campaign, Szyk offered this derisive cartoon suggesting Axis leaders Hitler and Tojo would welcome a change in administration, hoping that FDR's successor might be less aggressive in prosecuting the war.
Churchill as an Octopus1935-1943Josef Plank Both the war against Nazi Germany and efforts to stop the Holocaust were hampered by anti-Semitism. Axis propaganda sought to portray Churchill, who was sympathetic to Zionist aims and had many Jewish friends, as part of a supposed Jewish conspiracy. Here, he is shown as an octopus fastening his tentacles on the globe.
Axis bombs severing F.D.R. & Churchill's "hands across the sea,”1935 and 1943Josef Plank This anti-Allied cartoon wishfully envisions the forcible destruction of the American-British alliance. Bombs fall from a cloud labeled with the symbols of the three major Axis powers—the rising sun of imperial Japan, the fasces (sticks bundled around an axe for strength) of Mussolini's Italy, and the swastika of Nazi Germany.
"TskTsk -- Somebody Should Do Something About That”1956 Herbert Block President Dwight Eisenhower was frequently accused of failure to provide leadership on domestic problems. Among Herb Block's criticisms of the administration was Eisenhower's lack of support for the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling for desegregation. Eisenhower said we all have opinions and lamented that "you can't change the hearts of men by laws." The leadership vacuum persisted long after the Court's ruling, which allowed time for the organization of White Citizens councils, of "massive resistance" and confrontations that continued beyond Eisenhower's term. In 1956, two years after the Court's ruling, Eisenhower's view on integration was that it should proceed more slowly.
Washington Money Machine1956/1965Art Wood Cartoon shows dollar bills flowing down into machine labeled "Washington" while only a penny emerges to drop into a surprised man's hands. Cartoon suggests that the average citizen receives little from the taxes and other monies paid to the federal government.
"Evtu?”1966 Herbert Block On May 24, 1966, Illinois Republican Everett Dirksen took the Senate floor to call for a "thorough discussion of the diplomatic, military and political situation in Vietnam." He attacked President Lyndon Johnson for lack of candor as military engagements increased and United States warplanes carried out a record number of air strikes on North Vietnam. The cartoon alludes William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where Caesar says, "Et tu, Brute?" when stabbed by Brutus, and the title plays on Dirksen's first name, Everett.
National-security blanket1973Herbert Block On May 22, 1973, President Richard Nixon admitted that he had concealed aspects of the case involving the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington. He did so, he said, to protect national security "operations." Nixon affirmed his innocence and said he would stay in office. Herb Block, whose earliest cartoons critical of Nixon had appeared twenty-five years before, saw Nixon seeking cover amidst evidence of wiretapping, break-in, political sabotage, laundered FBI funds from Mexico, and other illegal activities.
The Shadow1955Art Wood In 1955 both Democrats and Republicans in Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $10,000 pay raise--from $15,000 to $25,000-- at a time when most Americans earned less than $3,900 a year. Art Wood implies that the dramatic pay raise not only contributed to the federal debt, but also brought Congressional leadership into question.
MiG fighter 1963Art Wood Cartoon shows Uncle Sam (labeled "U.S. Prestige") sporting a large black eye. Land (labeled "Cuba") is shown in the background. In February 1963, four Cuba-based MiGs fired on an American fishing boat. American prestige was damaged, and President Kennedy threatened retaliation if it occurred again.
"Sorry, but you have an incurable skin condition”Herbert Block 1963 In many areas, black doctors were excluded from practice in medical facilities. This not only deprived them of opportunities, but deprived many patients of all colors of treatment they might otherwise have received. In 1963, the AMA and a black medical association agreed to form a joint committee to halt injustices toward African American doctors.
Taped1970Herbert Block Long before the Watergate scandals, Herb Block was pointing out excessive use of government power to wiretap or otherwise investigate the activities of citizens an administration felt were at odds with its policies. In 1970, the Civil Service Commission admitted to having a Security Investigations Index with over 10 million entries, and the armed forces revealed surveillance of Americans involved in anti-Vietnam war activities.
"I want to make it perfectly clear that national defense requires 18-cent oil”1970 Edmund Valtman Cartoon shows President Nixon giving a speech, backed by two smiling men in Western hats. The speech is being given from a podium under an array of pipes and derricks labeled "Domestic Oil Co." Liquid, shown as dollars, drips into a can labeled "Political Contributions." In February 1970, President Nixon bowed to the pressures of the domestic oil companies and rejected a commission's recommendations that would have reduced quotas on the importation of oil.
"Now, as I was saying four years ago–”1972 Herbert Block In his 1968 bid for the presidency, Richard Nixon announced to the war-weary country that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War. When he ran for re-election four years later, American troops were still fighting in Indochina, with casualties continuing to climb.
Nixon awash in his office By June 1973, the country had become transfixed by the investigation of Watergate via the televised hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. On June 25, former presidential counsel John Dean began his testimony, the first before the committee to directly accuse President Richard Nixon of involvement in the coverup.
Nixon, with sign, "I am not a crook”1974 Herbert Block On November 17, 1973, President Richard Nixon told 400 Associated Press managing editors that he had not profited from public service. "I have earned every cent. And in all of my years in public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook," he declared. On April 3, 1974, the White House announced that Nixon would pay $432,787.13 in back taxes plus interest after an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and a congressional committee. Among Nixon's benefits to himself were improvements in his properties, supposedly necessary for his protection. These included a security ice maker, a security swimming pool heater, security club chairs and table lamps, security sofa and security pillows.
"It comes out fuzzy”1978Herbert Block On May 12, 1978, President Jimmy Carter agreed to a tax-cut package under pressure from Congress and the Federal Reserve Board, seeking to end an economic recession. Image consultant Gerald Rafshoon set about to alter the public perception of Carter as being indecisive. But his efforts were soon overwhelmed when Iranians took Americans hostage. Carter's ill-conceived attempt at a military rescue of the hostages resulted in a desert disaster, with loss of American lives and planes.
"You can do a favor for me -- Rub out any gun control legislation”1980 Herbert Block During the 1980s, the National Rifle Association directed its efforts toward repealing the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, which banned the mail-order sale of guns and ammunition. Using its powerful grass roots organization and heavy treasury to target legislators who supported gun control, it helped to elect a more sympathetic Senate in 1984. And in 1986, it achieved the repeal of the 1968 legislation.
Cardboard Ronald ReaganHerbert Block Unlike Carter, President Ronald Reagan projected a strong image. His own Iranian hostage situation exploded in scandal, and his attempts to establish a presence in Lebanon cost the lives of 241 Marines. Among the Reagan administration domestic scandals was one involving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which led to the indictment of one EPA official and the forced resignation of another. Herb Block notes, "The agency was one of many stacked to fit Reagan policies. Corruption in the Housing and Urban Development Agency took the form of awarding agency money to developers who would make campaign contributions. But it was the Iran-Contra scandals that shook the country and his administration. Through all this, Reagan remained popular, and his image was upheld."
"I was out of the loop”1992Herbert Block During the 1992 election, President George Bush came under scrutiny for his role as vice-president during the Iran-contra scandals. Bush claimed to be "out of the loop" about the arms deal. Democratic candidate Bill Clinton made Bush's role a central issue in his run for the White House. Clinton's running mate, Senator Al Gore, referred to notes released by an aide to former Secretary of State George Shultz that belied Bush's claim. As the campaign drew to a close, more information linked Bush to the scandal. One of Bush's last acts as president was his issuance of pardons to Iran-contra figures who had been indicted, pled guilty or been found guilty.
Balance1998Herbert Block Allegations of an affair between President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public on January 21, 1998. Although Clinton repeatedly and forcefully denied. any improper relationship, which later testimony proved his statements untrue and resulted in a House vote of impeachment. While fending off these accusations, Clinton proposed the first balanced budget in nearly 30 years.
Tom Toles2006 A cartoon published January 29, 2006 attracted the ire of the Pentagon in the form of a protest letter signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With regard to some recent assessments of the United States Army, the cartoon depicted the Army as a quadruple amputee soldier with a doctor resembling Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, declaring the Army "battle hardened".  The Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, "Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a cartoon [is] beyond tasteless." Toles was quoted responding, "I think it's a little bit unfair in their reading of the cartoon to imply that is what it's about."
Resources http://rutlandhs.k12.vt.us/jpeterso/uboatcar.htm Herbert Block : Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millenium Cartoon America : A Library of Congress Running for Office : Candidates, Campaigns, & the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman Passional Christi und Antichristi The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists The Opper Project
Homework Political Characterization: Create a satirical characterization of a political figure. Tools: Adobe Illustrator
Extra Credit Alphabet Illustration. 26 Letters of the Alphabet. Illustrate each one. Raise your grade up to 7 points.