Editorial Cartoons: The "Art" of Persuasion

Editorial Cartoons: The "Art" of Persuasion

Image credit: Fred Curatolo, https://curatolocartoons.com/

By: Kirk Bodnar, STS Teacher

Everyone loves cartoons, whether it be a cartoon strip like Calvin and Hobbes, a television show like the Simpsons, or even a new Disney/Pixar feature film, but what is the process of making a cartoon, and what goes on in the mind of the cartoonist as they are creating their cartoons?

On Thursday, February 17, our Grade 9 students were joined by professional Editorial Cartoonist Fred Curatolo as he described his process and walked the students through how he uses symbolism, satire, puns, and irony (among other things) in his work to provoke thought and invoke a reaction in his readers. 

The Grade 9 social studies classes have recently spent some time focusing on source analysis, and identifying meaning, perspectives, and bias in various source types, including editorial/political cartoons. It was a real treat to have Mr. Curatolo share the tricks of his trade, and really pinpoint how he uses imagery to portray a message and express an opinion. Students were even able to try their hand at creating a cartoon based on a current event topic that they brainstormed using Mr. Curatolo’s personal ideation method which allowed them to combine ideas based on a central topic. The students found the workshop quite interesting and it deepened their understanding of editorial cartoons, which will prove to be very useful leading up to the Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) at the end of the year. Editorial cartoons are often featured heavily in the Provincial Achievement Test (PAT), as a general category of sources.