Political Cartoons For centuries the Editorial Cartoon has been considered a bastion of wit, sophistication and all that is profound in society, all in spite of the fact that they're often no more than the most painfully pedestrian observations or so esoteric that they defy comprehension.
History • In the late 1800's an increase in newspaper and magazine circulation provided a rich environment for the rise and use of political cartoons. During the Spanish American War, William R. Hearst encouraged the visual arts of Frederick Remington by saying, "you furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." • Political cartoons communicate powerful ideas often in a humorous, enlightening manner, by incorporating the events of the period into an easily understandable format most people could relate to even with limited reading abilities. Symbols, caricature, drawings and exaggerations used by the cartoonist point out themes and problems of any given time period.
Source (URL, Newspaper, or Other) _____________________________ (Get started on the Internet at http://7- 12educators.about.com/cs/edcartoons/index.htm) Date of access (if URL) or Date of publication (all others)__________________________ Cartoonists Name (or Initials if that's all you can find) ________________________ Subject of the Cartoon ____________________________________________________ Brief Summary of the Issue Depicted (30 to 100 words) Note the source of this information
Identify the message or main idea in the cartoon that triggered your emotional response. Decode the message by using the following method: Scrutinize the characters. Can you name them by drawing on your knowledge of local and world events?
Examine the characters' attire and other visual clues. For example: facial expressions: does the character's face convey anger, fear, intrigue etc.?complexion: describe the character's facial appearance (clean-cut and shaven, scruffy etc.)body expression and appearance: describe the character's physical appearance (slouched, arms waving frantically, small stature, broad and bold body etc.)attire: what is the character wearing? (suit and tie, underwear, hats etc.)exaggeration of facial or physical characteristics: compared to a photograph (e.g., chins, mouths, bulging eyes, long noses etc.)
Identify objects you see in the cartoon (buildings, fences, something the character is holding). Notice words on the objects and background features (sky, walls, water).
Discuss the main ideas expressed in the cartoon's text. Is there a common theme?