Articles on Cartoons

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Cartoons can inspire rage – but they can also tell the stories of the marginalised. A panel from The Arrival by Shaun Tan, Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia, 2006.

Seeing the unseen: the stories that comics help us recognise

In the month since the the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the significance of visual representation has been a topic of much discussion. Political cartoons have the potential to reinforce problematic stereotypes…
Stéphane Charbonnier (Charb) lost his life in the Paris shooting. thierry ehrmann

In praise of the cartoonist – solitary, studious and searing

They think and work differently, cartoonists. Anyone who has spent any time in an editorial office will know that cartoonists dream and draw on their own, working to the rhythm of their thoughts – if they…
The power of image. Charles Plattiau/Reuters

The best weapon against terrorists: oblivion

In 2009, communications scholars Esra Özcan, Ognyan Seizov and I wrote an academic paper on the Danish Muhammad cartoon controversy and its aftermath. We concluded that “visuals have to be taken more seriously…
David Pope’s cartoon posted on Twitter this morning. David Pope, Twitter.com

Cartoonists are defiant in their response to Charlie Hebdo attack

Cartoonists and satirists in “the West” are confronted with the risks of their expressive freedom today as a consequence of the assassinations at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. This is how illiberal authoritarians…
Are political cartoons a blunt instrument? The Australian newspaper played an important role in honing cartooning culture. Martin Cathrae

The Australian helped political cartoonists sharpen their edge

As late as 1976, in what must have been one of the last things he wrote, the poet and controversialist James McAuley asserted, in a foreword to a volume of cartoons by George Molnar entitled Moral Tales…
Cartoonists like the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight can capture and critique the political mood in the most vivid way during election campaigns. AAP/Alan Porritt

Following and recalling election campaigns through cartoons

Cartoonists working in a liberal democracy have a licence to be satirical, comic and even outrageous because they are the modern day court jesters. Since 1996 we have been studying political cartoons appearing…
Caricatures of today’s politicians can be found anywhere from rallies to mainstream newspapers. AAP/Miles Godfrey

A true reflection? How caricatures can help or hinder politicians

In the current vicious political climate, caricatures in our daily press have become more savage. Perhaps no politician has experienced this more in recent times than former prime minister Julia Gillard…

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