Cartooning…What Is It?

Cartooning is one of the most exciting and fun ways to express yourself through art. It’s also one of the easiest ways to break into the art field.

Don’t get me wrong…cartooning isn't easy. Just like anything else, it takes work. It takes passion. You have to WANT to be a cartoonist. If you’re in it for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Cartooning is a form of art, like painting or sculpting. The dictionary describes a cartoon as a “sketch or drawing, usually humorous” which symbolizes or satirizes some action. However, cartooning is so much more than just drawing.

Cartooning is an elegant way to describe the world. A cartoon can be simple or complex, and can be drawn in almost any style; but it’s not an exact duplication of reality. It’s a representation of the artist’s perceptions of the world, and every person sees the same thing differently.

Through cartoons, a cartoonist can tell a joke, a story or make a particular point, and it can be done much more quickly and interesting than through words alone. For example:

What’s more interesting?


“A superhero leaves his house to fight crime. However, while flying through the air, he unfortunately realizes he has forgotten to wear his costume.”

Or this:

As you can see, the above cartoon tells the same story as the paragraph. But when we look at the cartoon, we can absorb the story at a glance. The cartoon is also more likely to cause the reader to laugh or smile than the paragraph.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with humorous writing. In fact, good writing is essential to good cartooning. If you want to tell a story or a joke, you have to write it first, even if there isn’t a caption in the actual cartoon. A good, well-drawn cartoon portrays an idea in a way that writing alone can’t.

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