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Editorial Cartoons

Cartoons do more than break up the gray areas of a newspaper.
They add commentary and challenge values.
They are appropriate for all publications.

Cartoonists have influenced our language, our politics and our conscience.
They have given a voice and body to a variety of ideas.

What are the associations we have with Linus, Charlie Brown, Cathy and Dagwood? What views of life today are presented in "Dilbert" and "For Better or For Worse" that cannot be found in "Apartment 3-G" and "Rex Morgan, M.D."?

Rube Goldberg satirized 20th century technology in his most well-known cartoons. McNutt, Lala Palooza and Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts, inventor of many contraptions, were his creations.

In his comic books Maus, Art Spiegelman used cats and mice to comment on the Holocaust. He won a Pulitzer Prize.

The political satire of Garry Trudeau was so searing many papers moved "Doonesbury" to the commentary page.

Herb Block (Herblock) began his career as an editorial cartoonist in 1946 at The Washington Post. It was he who coined the term "McCarthyism." Fifty years later he continues to comment on politics and culture.

Cartoonists even changed the industry.
In 1940, Chicago Tribune's Joseph Medill Patterson is said to have told Dalia Messick that he would never hire a woman artist, so Messick redrew her series under the name "Dale Messick" and her new comic strip, Brenda Starr, was in print.

A study of the editorial cartoons connected to this Web site will give some insight and inspiration to budding artists in how to use drawings to express an opinion.

For an educator the most compelling use of editorial cartoons is to interest students in
discussions of current events. Since the cartoons are constantly updating, students will see the themes change to reflect the issue of the day.

Editorial Cartoon Analysis
Clip an editorial cartoon based on a relevant news event and do the following assignment.
1.) What is the event or issue that inspired the cartoon?

2.) Are there any real people in the cartoon? Who is portrayed in the cartoon?

3.) Are there symbols in the cartoon? What are they and what do they represent?

4.) What is the cartoonist's opinion about the topic portrayed in the cartoon?

5.) Do you agree or disagree with the cartoonist's opinion? Why?

Certain objects are common to editorial cartooning - they are like a vocabulary list.
During your search of editorial cartoons in newspapers and on the Internet,
check off the following as you find them.
Contribute your own objects to the bottom of the list.
A Donkey
An Elephant
A Bear
A Bull
A Pig
A Farm Animal
A Dangerous Animal
A Bird
A Dove
A Shark
A Dog
Prime Minister Chretien
President George W. Bush
A Former President
Another Politician
The Parliament Buildings
The US Capitol Building
A Monument
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Blind Lady Justice
Another Famous Statue
A Famous Painting 
A Symbol of a Company 
An Angel
A Devil
Johnny Canuck or a Beaver
The Grim Reaper
Father Time or Santa Claus
Someone Who is Very Fat
Someone who is Crying
Someone who is Fighting
The World Trade Towers
An Athlete or Sports Symbol
A Dollar Bill or Dollar Sign
Road Signs
Cars and Trucks
A Television Set
A Computer
A Baby
An Old Man
Picket Signs
Something from a Circus
Something from a Game
A Family, Kids or Teenagers
A Soldier
Someone in Danger
Someone in Pain
A Canon or Big Gun
A Pistol or Rifle
A Bomb
An Airplane or Tank 
A Big Mess
A Hammer
An Axe, Sword or Knife
A Skull and Crossbones
A Gravestone
A Prison
Something from a Movie
Something from a TV Show
Something from a TV
The Energizer Bunny
A Member of the Royal Family
A Terrorist
Add to this list by contributing other objects you have found.

Editorial Cartoon Bingo

Find five in a row and you win ... BINGO! 
   An average person


 President Clinton
 Suffering or Victims
War, fighting or agression
A monster
Statues or Monuments
The Media
Someone can't see the obvious