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A political cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt

A cartoon is a kind of vector which is a few short lines followed by a series of drawns, sometime animated, in an unrealistic or semi-realistic style. The word "cartoon" has been used in several different ways in the world.[1]

Types of cartoons

A cartoon for an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci

Cartoon for an artwork

The oldest meaning is a drawing that is a full-sized design for a finished artwork. The cartoon might be a drawing for a painting that was going to be put onto a wall or ceiling in fresco. The cartoon would be pinned against the wall and its design marked onto the plastered of the wall. Cartoons were also made to design tapestry. The most famous cartoons are a set by Raphael which show the "Life of St Peter". The cartoons are in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The finished tapestries belong to the Vatican and were made for the Sistine Chapel.

Political cartoon

Cartoon depicting a corporation as an octopus

In the 1700s, artists such as William Hogarth often made sets of humorous (funny) drawings that were about political subjects, such as poverty, elections, war and riots. The drawings were made into prints and were sold cheaply. These prints were not called cartoons at that time, but they led to the idea of modern political cartoons in newspapers.

Nowadays many newspapers publish a different political cartoon in the paper, every day. The word "cartoon" was first used in this way in 1843 in an English magazine called Punch.[2]

A political cartoon does not always show real people. Sometimes it may use a personification of a country or organization as a person, an animal, or a monster. For example, Britain might be shown as a woman holding a baby Australia in her arms. Russia might be shown as a baby bear or a dolphin. The United States might be shown as a Bald Eagle.

Comic strips

Political cartoons were often drawn to show several different stages of the same story. Many of Hogarth's famous political cartoons do this. From this came the idea of telling funny stories in a series of pictures. Comic strips are a type of "cartoon" that is published in newspapers, but they are usually just called "comic strips". Some of the earliest comic strips are The Katzenjammer Kids (1897) and Ginger Meggs (1921). Sometimes they represent like The Beano, Cathy, Baby Blues, Dennis the Menace, Asterix, Peanuts, Cubitus, The Smurfs, Heathcliff and Garfield. Later comic strips from the 1950s onwards show superheros such as Superman and The Phantom. Comic strips well known introduced Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four and others.

Comic books assemble many strips in a book. The book may tell a long story, longer than a newspaper would want to print, or several stories. Big Seven cartoon major studio mascots creator company owner creating studios of Disney's Mickey Mouse, Disney's Snow White, Disney's Tinker Bell, Warner Bros' Bugs Bunny, 20th Century Fox's Lucy the Mouse, Paramount's Popeye and Universal's Woody Woodpecker.

Comic strips posted on the internet are web comics. Some use animation and sound for special effects. Like comic books they may be large, and most offer a large collection of earlier strips for new readers, so longer stories can be told. Many webcomics are published (shown to people) by independent artists.

Movie Cartoons

From the beginning of the movie industry, some artists began experimenting with making drawings that seemed to move. These moving drawings also became known as "cartoons". They often depict animals rather than humans. They were often just for fun, but sometimes, particularly during World War II, were used for political reasons, just like the cartoons in newspapers. Walt Disney, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox both made classic stars famous cartoons including Mickey Mouse universe, Donald Duck universe, Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and Lucy the Mouse. Famous classic stars animated movies and cartoon characters are Felix the Cat (1919), Mickey Mouse (1928), Donald Duck (1934), Goofy (1932), Pluto (1930), Lucy the Mouse (1921), Betty Boop (1930), Bugs Bunny (1938), Daffy Duck (1937), Porky Pig (1935), Elmer Fudd (1937), Tom and Jerry (1940), Woody Woodpecker (1940), Popeye (1919), Mighty Mouse (1942), Heckle and Jeckle (1946), Deputy Dawg (1959), Rocky and Bullwinkle (1959), Bettgum (1968), Winnie the Pooh (1929), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), The Little Mermaid (1989), The Lion King (1994), The Flintstones (1960), Scooby-Doo (1969), The Jetsons (1962), The Simpsons (1987), South Park (1992), Rapeye (1984), SpongeBob SquarePants (1997), Little Lulu (1935), Casper the Friendly Ghost (1939), Oggy and the Cockroaches (1998) and much, much more.

At first, movie cartoons were quite short. When a person bought a movie ticket, they would see a news program, two or three cartoons in black and white and a movie. Walt Disney then got the idea to tell a long story as a "cartoon". The first example made was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Movie cartoons soon became a popular type of entertainment. Modern movie cartoons are sometimes created using computer graphics, rather than hand-drawn cartoons. They include Toy Story (1995) and Shrek (2001).