WHAT IS AN EDITORIAL CARTOON? Any cartoon that offers opinionated commentary on a particular issue.
Duncan MacPherson, 1964
The Peak, 2007
SOME MYTHS ABOUT EDITORIAL CARTOONING
MYTH #1 Editorial cartoons all have to be drawn in a “certain style,” ie; cross-hatched shading, big heads small bodies, heavily detailed, lots of labels, etc
TRUTH! Editorial cartoons span many different artistic styles and formats. There is no “correct” way for an editorial cartoon to look.
MYTH #2 An editorial cartoon fails if it is not funny.
TRUTH! The purpose of an editorial cartoon is to offer commentary, and make the reader think. Sometimes commentary is funny, sometimes not. Editorial cartoons serve a different purpose than say, Family Circus or Cathy.
MYTH #3 An editorial cartoon has to involve caricatures and politicians.
TRUTH! Many artists in the editorial cartooning subculture dislike the phrase “political cartoon” for precisely this reason. An editorial cartoon offers commentary about anything, politicians are but one potential target.
TYPE #1 THE VISUAL METAPHOR A cartoon that uses labeled visual symbols to make its point, usually by comparing a non-political situation to a political one.
TYPE #2 ABSTRACT IMAGE A cartoon that evokes a general theme by using an image that seems to sum up a broad situation.
TYPE #3 TEXT BASED A cartoon that makes its point largely through character dialogue.
TYPE #3 CARICATURE-BASED A cartoon that utilizes a caricature as its main focus.
TYPE #4 PARODY A cartoon that uses a specific pop-culture analogy to make its point.
THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF GOOD EDITORIAL CARTOONS (Three C’s) -concise statement -creative idea -clear art