Cartoon is a term coined from the italian word "cartone" meaning "big paper", it refers to a full-sized drawing made on paper as a study for future artwork by artists but can now be defined as a pictorial sketch or caricature, which by implication is either humorous or satirical and which is usually published by a magazine or newspaper originally used as a forerunners and templates for artistic works by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci , it has evolved from it's use as a template for future artwork to encompass new forms of media and serves more widely varied purposes.

History of Cartoons

What may be seen as the earliest cartoon is a work in woodcut called Le Revers du Jeu des Suysses ( The Other Side of the Swiss Game) , produced in 1499 .It portrayed the Pope,the Roman Emperor and the Kings of France and England as cards on a table while a swiss soldier stacked the decks in a satirical manner under it , it's primary purpose then was to depict the ambitions of the french in italy. It would slowly gain prominence in that period especially in italy were it as a form of art gained prominence in the form of caricaturas and other works.

It would in time spread as a form of art and be adopted as it spread throughout Europe. William Hogarth ( 1697-1764) is considered by many to be the true founder of modern cartoons ,being the first to mass produce his works which focused heavily on political satire and jokes, he was one of the first to excel in the field of cartoons, especially in political cartoons.The lithography a technique that had being invented in 1798, gave artists the opportunity of utilize a printing surface for drawing as well as allowing for them to use a much wider range of textures and colours than was possible with etching or engraving. Caricaturists were not slow to exploit the new medium. Foremost among them was the Frenchman Honoré Daumier, whose work "Don Quixote" would gain world wide prominence.

Modern cartoons as we know it was created by the magazine "Punch".Known and remembered for it's heavy use of satire in it's work on both socially and politically inclined cartoon representations, it was still creating cartoons up until 2002 when it closed down, it had been in operation since 1841 and it set the standards for how cartoons are presented even in this day and age.They made use of various types of cartoons to portray various stories to their readers some humorous others serious.

Types of Cartoons

In media there are two primary types of cartoons, they are Political cartoons and Gag cartoons.Political cartoons are known for having serious content which is focused around social political issues while Gag Cartoon are created primarily for humor.



Gag Cartoons

Single panel cartoons, they usually include a written caption that appears beneath the drawing, most often published by magazines.Used mainly to provoke laughter in the readers , they were primarily comedies, with little seriousness in them. What seperates them from political cartoons is that they are in magazines and the content of the message they contain is light and humorous.The "Punch" and the "New Yorker" were famous publishers of Gag Cartoons.

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Political Cartoons

Political cartoons also known as editorial cartoon are comic strips containing political or social message. Usually found on the editorial page of most newspapers they are used usually to express an opinion about important political issues. Political cartoons can be humorous or satirical, and tend to be powerful mechanisms in the shaping of public opinion, they can serve as effective mechanisms of propaganda.Using visual metaphors and caricatures to explain complicated political situations, this type of cartoons then sum up a current event with either a humorous or emotional picture.

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Forms of cartoons

There are several forms of cartoons that exist in our age primarily caricature cartoons, animated cartoons, commercial cartoons and comic cartoons.Each serves a purpose and has a variety of uses and applications. The most common among them that are widely known are the comic cartoons and animated cartoons.

Animated Cartoons

An animated is a short, hand-drawn moving pictures, although in some cases computer generated images that appear hand-drawn are used to create them, they are created mostly [[|]] for the cinema and television viewing audience and which have scripts , usually short ones due to cartoons short durations.The first animated cartoon was by the french director Emile Cohl, a work known as "Fantasmagorie". While that was the first true cartoon , the first successful cartoon was Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay,is considered the first true cartoon as well as the first successful cartoon.The earlier versions of cartoons like "Gertie the Dinosaur" lacked sound but improvements in technology led to improvements in how animated cartoons were created with the cartoon "Steamboat Willie"which would feature a cartoon character that the producer Walt Disney would adopt as his trademark for his company "Mickey Mouse". Since then cartoons have been adapted for both television and cinema performances and served a variety of purposes including educational purposes in the form of cartoons like the Magic School Bus to advertisements for commercial purposes like the character Erin Esurance as the "spokesperson" for Esurance Inc. an american auto insurance provider which has used the character in commercials to advertise their services . Animated cartoons are essentially one of the many and most forms of effective Mass Media, that exist in the world today. Other genres of Animated Cartoons include Anime , Animated Music Videos, Zany Humor, Funny Animals all of which serve as effective forms of Mass Media with characters such as Bugs Bunny serving as effective means of propaganda during World War II.

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Caricature Cartoons

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A caricature cartoon are pictures or other representations that exaggerate the certain features of individuals usually physical or facial features or manners of an individual to produce a extreme effect while still letting the individual being distorted having a still easily identifiable resemblance to the individual it is based on. Caricatures may be used to ridicule a political , social or even religious situation. Actions by various groups or classes within a particular society may also be represented by caricatures. Honore Daumier one of the earliest cartoonists used caricatures in his work.

Commercial Cartoons

Commercial cartoons are used primarily to promote an advertisers's goods and services. An example of such cartoons would be Erin Esurance , the primary commercial cartoon "spokesperson" for Esurance.Inc. Other examples of commercial cartoons though the characters in the cartoons aren't exclusively meant for cartoons would be the"Flintstones" which have been used by such companies as Midas, an automobile repair company.

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Comic Cartoons

Comic cartoon are usually a series of pictures that illustrate a story.The term applies to comic strips in newspapers particularly but also includes the other forms of print media like comic books, manga and graphic novels and the ceators of comic cartoons are known as cartoonists, famous examples of this include Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman. serving primarily as a form of entertainment, comic cartoon characters are also used in advertisement, and education which makes them a rather effective form of mass media.
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Flash Cartoons
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Flash cartoons are another type of cartoons that are created using Flash Media such as "Flash MX". They differ from the original types of cartoons because they are "drawn" using computer software. Flash cartoons appeal to many thousands of people because they can be created by amateurs and professionals alike. Flash cartoons have also become a social phenomenon because it has given rise to such community websites as where members can post their own flash animation to be rated, for feedback, and also just for exhibition. Many flash cartoons series have also become popular on the Internet. Cartoons such as “Salad Fingers” by David Firth have become immensely popular and have a steady fan base.

Sources of Images









Works Cited

Wikpedia: Cartoons ,

Wikipedia: Erin Esurance,

Wikipedia: Gag Cartoon,

Wikipedia : Punch ,

Wikipedia: Political Cartoons,

Wikipedia: Caricatures ,

Wikipedia: Animated Cartoons,

History of Cartoons :