Cartoons are simple sketches or drawings with exaggerated features which are satirical or humorous and usually published in newspapers, magazine or periodicals. Most cartoons combine words and drawings to convey their messages while others express their message through the drawings only. The artist who specializes in the creation of cartoons is called a cartoonist.
Cartoonists usually use few details of a particular character that helps us to readily identify him while exaggerating the other features of the same character such as the head, hands or feet just to create humour. For instance, the size of the head of a cartoon character may be a third or half of the body length. Oversized heads are normally used by cartoonists to direct the attention of readers to important facial expressions of characters such as a smile, a sneer, a squint, anger etc. Symbols are also used as shortcuts by cartoonists to help them narrate their stories. For instance, a dark cloud on the head of a character may indicate that the character is in despair or problem while a light bulb on his head may indicate a bright idea gained by the character.
Each separate scene of a cartoon is called a Panel. The printed text that accompanies and explains the action of a cartoon character usually in an enclosed space is termed as Balloon.
There are several features that can easily help someone to identify cartoon drawings. Some of these includes:
1. Human or animal figures known as ‘characters’ are depicted in cartoon drawings.
2. Few details of the characters are shown in cartoon drawings. 4anime
3. Cartoon drawings are not realistic but representational.
4. There is always an exaggeration or culmination of some parts of the body of the character such as head, hands, eyes, nose etc.
5. Cartoon drawings are humorous, satirical and dramatic.
6. Facial expressions and feelings of a character such as happiness, anger, pain etc. are normally indicated by the size and posture of the eyes and mouth.
Cartoon drawings play several roles in the society. These roles are mostly educational and social.
1. Cartoons are used for creating illustrations in books, magazines, newspapers and other periodicals to educate the general public on important issues of the nation.
2. They are used for advertisement of products and services.
3. They are used in explaining difficult subjects or topics in textbooks.
4. Cartoons are used as finished drawings for publications.
5. Painters in the area of Fine arts use cartoons as sketches for paintings.
6. Cartoons are used to bring to limelight some negative tendencies in the society such as corruption etc.
7. They serve as a form of entertainment for both children and adults especially when they are used for animations.
8. They are used to relieve boredom in readers of story books, newspapers, and magazines.