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Using Editorial Cartoons in Art

In the aftermath of September 11, I have found myself searching the newspaper each day for empathy and comfort through editorial cartoons and comics that don't normally tackle serious subjects. Cartoons don't attract as much attention as front-page headlines, but they certainly express our collective national emotional responses.

You might have to be a cat lover to understand the obscure strip Get Fuzzy,, but cartoonist Darby Conley, a former elementary school teacher, paid quiet tribute to firefighters for a number of days in his strip that includes a talking cat and dog. He even had the dog donate blood for rescue dogs. Non Sequitur,, is another offbeat, one-panel strip that has responded to the real-life events. Two recent cartoons have featured the World Trade Towers and honored the people who died there.

Editorial cartoons are widely available online and offer another reason for you to take your students to the computer lab. They provide an engaging means to introduce the art form and profession to your students while providing them a meaningful outlet for their feelings and emotions in these troubled times. By far the best site I have found is Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonist Index,, the largest collection of newspaper editorial cartoons on the web.

Available directly at cagle.slate., Cagle's teacher guide includes lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students. Each level consists of lessons called "Current Events," "Forming Opinions," "Cartoon Bingo," "Scavenger Hunt," and "Analyze the 'Toon." One of the most riveting, ongoing features is "Terror Attack Cartoons," a section which includes cartoons on Lady Liberty's response to the attack, other world views of the terror, and cartoons that honor firefighters.

Other Cartoon Sites to Visit

* The National Cartoonist's Society has a handsome website, available at

* The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists,, is a more formal site, with cartoon news and history, member homepages, and online member portfolios.

* The New York Times on the Web,, features Doonesbury and Dilbert.

* Planet Cartoonist: The Top 100 Editorial Cartooning Sites, bestsites/editorialcartoonist/topsites.html, has lots of links.

* Editoons, editoons, is the home of over 50 comics on the web, including Peanuts and Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, The New Yorker cartoons, and a number of editorial cartoonists.

* Editorial Cartoons by Kids,, offers guidelines, a book, and contest for editorial cartoons by kids from Knowledge Unlimited, Inc.
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Title Annotation:cartoons on the Net
Author:Walkup, Nancy
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
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