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Encyclopedia > Political cartoon
This early political cartoon by was originally written for the , but was later recycled during the
This early political cartoon by Ben Franklin was originally written for the French and Indian War, but was later recycled during the Revolutionary War

An editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is an illustration or comic strip containing a political or social message.

Editorial cartoons can be very diverse, but there is a certain established style among most of them. Most editorial cartoons use visual metaphors and caricatures to explain complicated political situtations, and thus sum up a current event with a humorous picture.

Over the years, certain common metaphors and symbols have been repeatedly used by many different cartoonists. Examples include the use of a donkey and elephant to represent the United States Democratic Party and United States Republican Party respectively, Uncle Sam to represent the United States, a bear to represent Russia, a dragon to represent China, and so forth.

In modern political cartooning a division has started to emerge between two styles of cartooning. The tradtional style, involving visual metaphors is described as the 'nasti' style, named after Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist generally considered to be the modern founder of political cartooning. The second style is a much more text heavy 'alti' style that tells a linear story, usually in comic strip format. This style is becoming more popular, especially among left wing cartoonists, but is often denounced by traditionalists as being little more editorial columns desguised as cartoons.

Editorial cartoons can usually be found on the editorial page of most newspapers, although a few, like Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury are sometimes found on the regular comics page.

Notable editoral cartoonists

See also: Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning

  Results from FactBites:
Online NewsHour: Cartoons Provoke Anger Across Muslim World -- February 2, 2006 (1663 words)
Political cartoons published in European newspapers depicting the Prophet Muhammad against Islamic law caused a controversy across the Muslim world.
At the start, it was probably a gratuitous effort on the part of the Danish paper; it is a conservative paper, contrary to the good traditions of editorial cartooning, where you need to have some current action, I mean, the images shown about the prophet.
And these types of cartoons and this type of discourse hinders our ability to integrate our communities in a way that is healthy for ourselves, and healthy for the society generally.
Political Cartoon Books For Sale (4124 words)
Cartoons have the astonishing power to encapsulate a historical moment or popular mood, and this magnificent new survey of over 650 cartoons tells the story of modern Britain through hundreds of the finest examples.
Political cartoons often expose a nastier underside to contentious issues than is apparent on the surface of polite society.
Tribal Politics is Riddell's first collected book of political cartoons from his years at the Observer, covering issues from the Major government, through New Labour, to Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and of course Clinton and Monica.
  More results at FactBites »



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