A cartoonist (also comic strip creator) is 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, manuals, gag cartoons,
graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books,
advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game
1.1 In the West
3 Types of animation
5 Art styles
6 See also
7.1 Works cited
8 Further reading
9 External links
9.1 Societies and organizations
In the West
The English satirist and editorial cartoonist William Hogarth, who
emerged In the 18th century, has been credited with pioneering Western
sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic
strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects". Much of
his work poked fun at contemporary politics and customs; illustrations
in such style are often referred to as "Hogarthian". Following the
work of Hogarth, political cartoons began to develop in England in the
latter part of the 18th century under the direction of its great
James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, both from London.
Gillray explored the use of the medium for lampooning and caricature,
calling the king (George III), prime ministers and generals to
account, and has been referred to as the father of the political
While never a professional cartoonist,
Benjamin Franklin is credited
with having the first cartoon published in an American newspaper.
In the 19th century, professional cartoonists such as Thomas Nast
introduced other familiar American political symbols, such as the
Benjamin Franklin's "Join, or Die" (1754), credited as the first
cartoon published in an American newspaper.
Charles Dana Gibson
Charles Dana Gibson was an influential American cartoonist in the
early 20th century.
During the 20th century, numerous magazines carried single-panel gag
cartoons by such freelance cartoonists as Charles Addams, Irwin
Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb, and John Norment. These were almost
always published in black and white, although Collier's often carried
cartoons in color. The debut of
Playboy introduced full-page color
cartoons by Jack Cole, Eldon Dedini,
Roy Raymonde and others.
Single-panel cartoonists syndicated to newspapers included Dave
Breger, Hank Ketcham, George Lichty, Fred Neher, Irving Phillips, and
J. R. Williams.
Comic strips received widespread distribution to mainstream newspapers
by syndicates such as the Universal Press Syndicate, United Media,
or King Features. Sunday strips go to a coloring company such as
American Color before they are published.
Some comic strip creators publish in the alternative press or on the
Comic strip artists may also sometimes work in book-length
form, creating graphic novels. Both vintage and current strips receive
reprints in book collections.
The major comic book publishers (such as Marvel or DC) utilize teams
of cartoonists to produce the art (typically separating pencil work,
inking and lettering while the color is added digitally by colorists).
When a consistent artistic style is wanted among different cartoonists
(such as Archie Comics), character model sheets may be used as
Calum MacKenzie, in his preface to the exhibition catalog, The
Scottish Cartoonists (Glasgow Print
Studio Gallery, 1979) defined the
The difference between a cartoonist and an illustrator was the same as
the difference between a comedian and a comedy actor—the former both
deliver their own lines and take full responsibility for them, the
latter could always hide behind the fact that it was not his entire
Types of animation
Dip pens have traditionally been a popular drawing tool for
Animated cartooning is created for short films, advertising, feature
films and television. It is also sometimes used in live-action films
for dream sequences or opening titles. An animation artist is commonly
referred to as an animator rather than a cartoonist. They create
motion pictures as well.
Animation studios such as DreamWorks
Animation, Pixar, Walt Disney
Animation Studios, and Blue Sky Studios
create CGI or computer-animated films that are more three-dimensional.
There are many books of cartoons in both paperback and hardcover, such
as the collections of cartoons from The New Yorker. Prior to the
1960s, cartoons were mostly ignored by museums and art galleries. In
1968, the cartoonist and comedian Roger Price opened the first New
York City gallery devoted exclusively to cartoons, mainly work by the
leading magazine gag cartoonists. Today, there are several museums
devoted to cartoons, notably the Billy Ireland
Cartoon Library &
Museum, run by curator Jenny E. Robb at Ohio State University.
Self-caricature by an Indian
Cartoonist Shekhar Gurera
Comics artists usually sketch a drawing in pencil before going over
the drawing in India ink, using either a dip pen or a brush. Artists
may also use a lightbox to create the final image in ink. Some
artists, Brian Bolland, for example, use computer graphics, with the
published work as the first physical appearance of the artwork. By
many definitions (including McCloud's, above), the definition of
comics extends to digital media such as webcomics and the mobile
The nature of the comics work being created determines the number of
people who work on its creation, with successful comic strips and
comic books being produced through a studio system, in which an artist
assembles a team of assistants to help create the work. However, works
from independent companies, self-publishers, or those of a more
personal nature can be produced by a single creator.
Within the comic book industry of North America, the studio system has
come to be the main method of creation. Through its use by the
industry, the roles have become heavily codified, and the managing of
the studio has become the company's responsibility, with an editor
discharging the management duties. The editor assembles a number of
creators and oversees the work to publication.
Any number of people can assist in the creation of a comic book in
this way, from a plotter, a breakdown artist, a penciller, an inker, a
scripter, a letterer, and a colorist, with some roles being performed
by the same person.
In contrast, a comic strip tends to be the work of a sole creator,
usually termed a cartoonist. However, it is not unusual for a
cartoonist to employ the studio method, particularly when a strip
Mort Walker employed a studio, while Bill Watterson
Charles Schulz did not. Gag, political, and editorial cartoonists
tend to work alone as well, though a cartoonist may use assistants.
Scott McCloud, whose work Understanding
Comics identified the
different styles of art used within comics.
While almost all comics art is in some sense abbreviated, and also
while every artist who has produced comics work brings their own
individual approach to bear, some broader art styles have been
Comic strip artists Cliff Sterrett, Frank King, and Gus
Arriola often used unusual, colorful backgrounds, sometimes veering
into abstract art.
The basic styles have been identified as realistic and cartoony, with
a huge middle ground for which R. Fiore has coined the phrase liberal.
Fiore has also expressed distaste with the terms realistic and
cartoony, preferring the terms literal and freestyle, respectively.
Scott McCloud has created "The Big Triangle" as a tool for thinking
about comics art. He places the realistic representation in the bottom
left corner, with iconic representation, or cartoony art, in the
bottom right, and a third identifier, abstraction of image, at the
apex of the triangle. This allows placement and grouping of artists by
The cartoony style uses comic effects and a variation of line widths
for expression. Characters tend to have rounded, simplified anatomy.
Noted exponents of this style are
Carl Barks and Jeff Smith.
The realistic style, also referred to as the adventure style is the
one developed for use within the adventure strips of the 1930s. They
required a less cartoony look, focusing more on realistic anatomy and
shapes, and used the illustrations found in pulp magazines as a basis.
This style became the basis of the superhero comic book style since
Joe Shuster and
Jerry Siegel originally worked
Superman up for
publication as an adventure strip.
McCloud also notes that in several traditions, there is a tendency to
have the main characters drawn rather simplistic and cartoony, while
the backgrounds and environment are depicted realistically. Thus, he
argues, the reader easily identifies with the characters, (as they are
similar to one's idea of self), whilst being immersed into a world,
that's three-dimensional and textured. Good examples of this
phenomenon include Hergé's
The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin (in his "personal
Ligne claire style), Will Eisner's Spirit and Osamu
Tezuka's Buddha, among many others.
Artists use a variety of pencils, paint brushes, or paper, typically
Bristol board, and a waterproof ink. When inking, many artists
preferred to use a Winsor & Newton Series 7, #3 brush as the main
tool, which could be used in conjunction with other brushes, dip pens,
a fountain pen, and/or a variety of technical pens or markers.
Mechanical tints can be employed to add grey tone to an image. An
artist might paint with acrylics, gouache, poster paints, or
watercolors. Color can also be achieved through crayons, pastels or
Eraser, rulers, templates, set squares and a
T-square assist in
creating lines and shapes. A drawing table provides an angled work
surface with lamps sometimes attached to the table. A light box allows
an artist to trace his pencil work when inking, allowing for a looser
Knives and scalpels fill a variety of needs, including cutting
board or scraping off mistakes. A cutting mat aids paper trimming.
Process white is a thick opaque white material for covering mistakes.
Adhesives and tapes help composite an image from different sources.
Comic book creator
List of cartoonists
List of newspaper comic strips
The Someday Funnies
Women in comics
^ The British Museum. Beer Street,
William Hogarth - Fine Art Print
Retrieved 11 April 2010.
^ "Satire, sewers and statesmen: why
James Gillray was king of the
cartoon". The Guardian. 16 June 2015.
^ a b Hess & Northrop 2011, p. 24.
Comics Reporter". Retrieved 17 November 2009.
^ MacKenzie, Calum. The Scottish Cartoonists. Glasgow Print Studio
^ a b Fiore 2010.
^ "The Big Triangle". scottmccloud.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
^ Santos, 1998. The Golden Era... June 1938 to 1945, Part I[permanent
^ McCloud 1993, p. 48.
^ "16 essential art tools for artists".
Hess, Stephen; Northrop, Sandy (2011). American Political Cartoons:
The Evolution of a National Identity, 1754-2010. Transaction
Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4128-1119-4.
Steve Edgell, Tim Pilcher, Brad Brooks, The Complete Cartooning
Course: Principles, Practices, Techniques (London: Barron’s, 2001).
Cartoonist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cartoonists.
Societies and organizations
Professional Cartoonists' Organisation (UK)
National Cartoonists Society
Association of American Editorial Cartoonists
Society of Illustrators
Society of Children’s
Book Writers and Illustrators
Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles
The Association of Illustrators
The Illustrators Partnership of America
AIIQ - l’Association des Illustrateurs et Illustratrices du Québec
Colorado Alliance of Illustrators
Institute For Archaeologists Graphics Archaeology Group
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators-Northwest
Australian Cartoonists Association
Glossary of comics terminology
Comic strip formats
Daily comic strip
Female comics creators
Years in comics
China and Taiwan
France and Belgium
Based on fiction
Based on films
Based on video games
Based on television programs
Comic books on CD/DVD
Comics and comic strips made into feature films
Comics solicited but never published
Feminist comic books
Wrestling-based comic books
Animation film festivals
Highest-grossing films (Openings weekends)
Based on cartoons
Lost or unfinished
Pose to pose
Abstract animation (visual music)
Films with live action and animation
Most expensive animated films
Parts and tools
Nib (Flex nibs)
Ballpoint pen drawing
Ballpoint pen knife
Counterfeit banknote detection pen
Birmingham pen trade
Pen Trade Heritage Association
List of pen types, brands and companies