Welcome to Your Political Cartoon Portal
Here at American Political Cartoons, we are committed to bringing you the very best in editorial cartooning of the top artists from around the country. On the right, you will find our feed of the cartoons we have chosen as our top picks for the day.
Make sure to check back regularly for updates that follow right along with the breaking news of the day!
Why Political Cartooning Matters
Cartoonists are an essential part of the institution of free speech. For anyone who cares about the value of civilization and enlightenment, the role of the satirist and social commentator can never be underestimated.
While it is certainly true that daily newspapers, one of the main avenues for cartoonists to earn a living, are experiencing a cultural and economical crisis. The primary income streams of advertising on which they rely are dwindling, favoring more dynamic forms of online native advertising and content marketing.
Moreover, there is an epidemic of journalists being bought out by lobbying groups and special interests. As distributions of newspapers continue to decline, the place of the editorial cartoonist is one that can at times be seen as “non-essential” from a business standpoint, and thus be put on the chopping block.
The professional cartoonist, therefore, people who open others’ minds to social problems and allow them to see them from wry and ironic perspectives that challenge them to think outside of their comfort zones, are marginalized and moved away from the eyeballs of readers.
Political Cartoons in The United States Today
Ironically, the 21st century remains a golden age of editorial cartooning. The internet provides us with access to an extreme variety of talent and allows for individuals who are not necessarily represented by large syndicates to get their messages and artistic visions out to the public.
And the demand for political cartoons from the public has never been higher.
So then why is there such a decline in readership? Harper’s Magazine publishes cartoons in several daily and weekly publications, along with web version of the publication. Many other magazines are also continuing to publish editorial cartoons. While newspapers use to have a cartoonist on staff, who would, with his or her own unique perspective, contribute to the voice of the publication. Now, however, most papers cannot afford a full time staff member, so they usually enlist the talents of a cartoonist for hire which could mean a different cartoonist every week. While this doesn’t diminish the quality of the cartoons, as there are an extreme amount of talented cartoonists out there, it does take something away from the unified voice of a given publication.
American Political Cartoons and Cartoonists
What makes for a good political cartoon? Quite simply, no one agrees. Editors, readers and cartoonists are in a constant debate about it, and there is no consensus, which perhaps, is the most healthy situation possible.
Among cartoonists, of course, there’s one core element on which they all agree, regardless of ideology or style: irony.
Most cartoonists do not make an effort to offend anyone. But controversy is not something that nay self-respecting cartoonist runs away from either. Cartoons are not meant to reinforce what people already think, but rather, to challenge them to think differently and expand their horizons. Criticizing an editorial cartoonist being offensive is like accusing a football player of hurting the other team’s feelings by scoring a touchdown.
In other words, it’s simply ridiculous.
So, we encourage you to read these cartoons in the spirit of civic pride and good humor. Remember, as informed citizens, we all have an obligation to see and hear opinions and ideas that make us a little bit uncomfortable. Without that, we would be living in a tyranny of ideas, or simply bouncing around in our own echo chambers.