The power of current political cartoons
January 19, 2014 8:08 PM Subscribe
Do you think political (and only political) cartoons are taken seriously in this day and age?
posted by omar.a to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Wikipedia describes a cartoonist as "a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as animation, booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, ..."
(Although my question is about political cartoons, I will mention this because it is still relevant since it is about political comic writing): I came across an interview with acclaimed comic book writer Joe Sacco, and he says: “The power of [comics] is that it is a subversive kind of medium, because I found out that whenever I come back from one of these trips--to Bosnia or to Palestine--people will ask me, “So what was it like?” and I will start to explain that, and after about five minutes, they kind of want to talk about what movies are playing at the multiplex. There's a limit to how much can people take, in the way I was presenting it maybe. I realized when I produced a comic book, they were willing to read something like that because they thought it would be an easy entree into a complicated subject. Now, the subversive thing is, you can pack a lot of information into a comic book, at least as much as in a documentary film. And in that way, it looks very appealing--for whatever reasons, people are very visual and it's a comic, they think it's going to be easy--but there's a lot of hard information in there, and sometimes very affecting information.”
The book, “Visual Culture in the Modern Middle East”, recounts how during the 70s and the 80s, famous Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali's status evolved from that of a popular cartoonist into a cultural icon. He became so popular, and his cartoons so influential on the language and collective awareness of the Middle East, that he posed a serious threat to those he criticized and was eventually assassinated.
Are political cartoons still relevant in today's day and age? If they are, where do they get their power from (especially since it is much easier to circumvent censorship today than it was 20 or 30 years ago)?
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