Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are Cartoons Writing?



By M. Sakran


Recently I have been attempting to get cartoons published.  So far I have been unsuccessful, but as I have been working on it, I wondered something: Are cartoons writing?  I wondered this in two ways.

First, are cartoons like articles, short stories, essays, and poems?  Are they the same as expressing something with words, even if they have no or only a few words?  I think the answer is yes.  Cartoons are a lot like poetry.  They express an idea in a subtle way, even if the main point comes across directly.  They make a person think.  Different people can gain something different from the same cartoon.  They take an idea and express it using imagery.  A cartoon can get a person to feel something the same way a poem can. 

Second, should writers “write” cartoons?  If cartoons are in some way like writing, should this be another outlet?  I also think the answer is yes.  Cartoons are another way for a writer to express an idea and they can have advantages over other types of writing in expressing ideas.  First, although often subtle, cartoons can be very direct.  A simple picture gives the same idea as a long article.  Second, sometimes a writer may have an idea but may not be able to turn it into an article or a poem.  A cartoon can be a different way to express the idea.

Cartoons also provide another way for a writer to have something published.  Cartoons can be something in addition to the articles, stories, and poems a writer writes.  Lastly, cartoons provide an opportunity for a writer to express art visually.  Cartoons obviously take artistic skill, but it is a different skill than painting or sculpting.  A writer may be interested in painting or sculpting, but may not have the right level of ability.  A cartoon can be a way for a writer to get involved in art. 

I think that cartoons are writing and that writers should write cartoons.  Cartoons can express ideas like poetry, provide another way for writers to be published, and provide a way for a writer to get involved in art.

Go write a cartoon.
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M. Sakran has published short stories and essays.

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