We often think of cartoons as funny but, in addition to entertaining and amusing us, they can also enlighten, provoke or persuade us. Political or editorial cartoons, in particular, provide subjective viewpoints about current issues and events and the people involved in them. Cartoonists use a variety of techniques—symbolism, exaggeration, irony, analogy and labeling to name a few—to convey their story or perspective through images. Learn more about these techniques by completing the online activity: It’s No Laughing Matter.
Next, learn more about the art of cartooning by reading the articles and visiting the online exhibitions linked to below.
- “The Cartoon” by Herb Block
- “Afflicting the Comfortable” Cartoonist Paul Conrad Puts Words Behind the Pictures“
- Blog Round-Up: Political Cartoons
- Monstrous Craws and Character Flaws
- Cartoon America
- Herblock Gallery
- Herblock’s Gift: Selections from the Herb Block Foundation Collection
- Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium
- Enduring Outrage: Editorial Cartoons by HERBLOCK
- Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment
- Bill Mauldin: Beyond Willie and Joe
- Humor’s Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes
- Oliphant’s Anthem: Pat Oliphant at the Library of Congress
Finally, try your hand at analyzing a cartoon using these political cartoon resources.