Those little guys in a cartoon--what are they called?
November 19, 2008 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Is there a generic name for the small figures that political cartoonists used to put in the foreground of their cartoons? Often they were of the artist himself (like Tom Toles at his easel here) , or sometimes a repeated character, and they would offer additional commentary on the subject of the cartoon. Is there a name for those little guys?
posted by LarryC to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know, but Pat Oliphant's is a penguin named Punk.
posted by pullayup at 4:50 PM on November 19, 2008

beyond their role as a Greek Chorus, I don't know any specific term.
posted by scruss at 6:50 PM on November 19, 2008

There isn't a formal name that I know of, as only some cartoonists do this, but I found an interesting essay discussing them as analogues of a meta-narrator or disembodied/detached narrator. When they represent the cartoonist, they may be called an alter ego.
posted by dhartung at 12:21 AM on November 20, 2008

The Onion's Editorial Cartoons always do this. Can't help you with the name, though.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 4:43 AM on November 20, 2008

posted by Thorzdad at 6:53 AM on November 20, 2008

« Older Name that bizarre late 80s medical reality show.   |   Sit Ubu, sit. (or: Help me be in a Live Studio... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.