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What makes a cartoon attractive?

What is it which makes a cartoon interesting and attractive to a viewer?

Cartoons, like any other piece of artwork, have to appeal aesthetically, but they are often (I'm thinking of cartoons by people like Gerald Scarfe) hideously unattractive.

Newspaper or editorial cartoons must also communicate a particular political opinion swiftly and unequivocally. Quite often, these political opinions refer to several different themes simultaneously.

These images come from New Zealand newspapers, published in mid-October 2011, at the time of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in NZ, a major maritime disaster involving a large container ship called the Rena which spilled oil onto NZ beaches, and the beginning of the general election campaign. The media followed every Rugby World Cup story (including injuries to key NZ All Blacks players) but other news items (including the Rena oil spill) were less thoroughly covered. Was this a manifestation of media obsession, genuine interest and national will, political manipulation, or simply a reflection of human priorities? That's another issue, perhaps, but these cartoons, produced in the same place at virtually the same time, refer to the same themes, and use the same strategies. I'm interested in which one is the most appealing to the viewer, and why?

Body, Great News, Eh?
Tom Scott, Rugby or Rena?
Body, Ooh Look - More Rugby!
I'd like to consider how aesthetic factors such as style, colour, action and text interact with elements such as the underlying political idea, humour, and the viewers own opinions and prejudices combine to produce an image which is appealing to the viewer. 


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