Political Cartoons: A Timely Matter

Since the elections are just weeks away I couldn’t help think of comic art and its obvious similarities to political cartoons.

One could easily write a large volume covering the vast history of cartoons in American politics. In this blog, I’ll spare you all the details. But suffice to say it’s a fascinating art form that has spanned the length of our republic—from the first hours of the War of Independence to the current presidential race. Some cartoons have catered to the darker biases of the American citizenry while many more have simply brought good-natured entertainment to the public.

Here are several books worth checking out that beautifully illustrate this rich tapestry of American expression:

American Political Cartoons, 1754-2010: The Evolution of a National Identity by Steven Hess and Sandy Northrop

The Best Political Cartoons of the Year, 2010 Edition, Edited by Daryl Cagle and Brian Fairrington

The New Yorker Book of Political Cartoons, Edited by Robert Mankoff

Herblock: The Life and Works of the Great Political Cartoonist by Herbert Block, Edited by Harry L. Katz, Introduction by Haynes Johnson