political cartoon

A political cartoon is a very common form of political satire using caricature, juxtaposition and metaphor to draw attention to some attribute of a public figure or some situation. Very often, such cartoons portray a country or organization as being a person or an animal or fantastic creature.

For instance, it is extremely common to portray China as a dragon, Britain as a bulldog or a stout fellow named John Bull, and the United States as either a tall figure with white beard named Uncle Sam or as an eagle.

Cartoons that depict Muhammad are quite controversial. Some that link the prophet of Islam to terrorism have led to riots when reprinted. Many Muslims consider them hate speech. Some claim that a close analogy is a cartoon treatment of genocide that mocked victims. However, bad taste alone is not sufficient reason to ban any form of cartoon in any country with strong protections for freedom of expression.

Extremely offensive cartoons are actually common throughout the Western world. Despite the fact that O.J.Simpson was found innocent by a jury of murdering his wife, cartoons to this day depict him with blood on his hands, or otherwise strongly implying he is guilty.

Sometimes a political cartoon can be created just by adding names to characters. One example is:


It is also possible simply to use a cartoon in a particular context without changing it at all. For instance when Jim Harris was compared to the Pointy Haired Boss on babble the only response was to produce this timely cartoon: