Cartoon

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The word cartoon has various meanings, based on several very different forms of visual art and illustration. The artists who draw cartoons are known as cartoonists.

The term has evolved over time. The original meaning was in fine art, where cartoon meant a preparatory drawing for a piece of art, such as a painting or tapestry. The modern meaning refers to both humorous illustrations in print and animated films. Even more recently, there are several contemporary meanings, including creative visual work for electronic media and animated digital media. When the word cartoon is applied to print media, it most often refers to a humorous single-panel drawing or gag cartoon, most of which have typeset captions rather than speech balloons. The word cartoon is sometimes used to refer to a comic strip,[1] and it can also refer to a humorous illustration for fiction or nonfiction published in newspapers and magazines.

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Fine art

A cartoon (from the Italian "cartone" and Dutch word "karton", meaning strong, heavy paper or pasteboard) is a full-size drawing made on sturdy paper as a study or modello for a painting, stained glass or tapestry. Cartoons were typically used in the production of frescoes, to accurately link the component parts of the composition when painted on damp plaster over a series of days (giornate).

Such cartoons often have pinpricks along the outlines of the design; a bag of soot was then patted or "pounced" over the cartoon, held against the wall to leave black dots on the plaster ("pouncing"). Cartoons by painters, such as the Raphael Cartoons in London and examples by Leonardo da Vinci, are highly prized in their own right. Tapestry cartoons, usually coloured, were followed by eye by the weavers on the loom.[1]

Print media

In modern print media, a cartoon is a piece of art, usually humorous in intent. This usage dates from 1843 when Punch magazine applied the term to satirical drawings in its pages,[2] particularly sketches by John Leech. The first of these parodied the preparatory cartoons for grand historical frescoes in the then-new Palace of Westminster. The original title for these drawings was Mr Punch's face is the letter Q and the new title "cartoon" was intended to be ironic, a reference to the self-aggrandizing posturing of Westminster politicians.

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