How To Write a Political Cartoon

How to Draw a Political CartoonWell, hey there, palerinos, are you boys and girls excited to learn how to draw the fuck out of some political cartoons? I know I sure am! Political cartoons are the height of American political discourse, and this proud tradition dates all the way back to that one picture of the snake, the one that was cut into pieces because it didn’t listen to its mother’s warnings about talking to strangers, I think. I don’t know, it didn’t have labels bluntly explaining all the metaphors so I couldn’t tell what it meant, but the point is that it’s a long tradition. So I’m sure you’re eager to get started. But you can’t just pick up a pencil, a pad of paper, turn on your favorite Nickleback record, and let the creativity flow in and out of you like a bad meal at Taco Bell. Here are some ste
ps to make sure that when you draw your political cartoons, they don’t suck eggs. While my tactics may have been too revolutionary for every major publication in the country, I guarantee you that this is the way of the future.

  1. Before you start, make sure to jog in place for at least half an hour. This will set the brain juices pumping and get you nice and sweaty. Being sweaty is the perfect way to prepare for being creative.
  1. Make sure that you practice all your pencil strokes in the air before actually putting pen to paper. If you try to draw or write without properly warming up, the air pressure might cause a feedback loop to the back of your skull and you could lobotomize yourself. This is rock hard speculative science.
  1. Get ready to press your writing utensil to the paper, but don’t actually do it. Let the pencil or pen waver just over the paper for a good five minutes. Let the anticipation build up in the shaft of your pencil, ready to burst out, but don’t let it. Not yet. It will feel better if you delay it.
  1. Recite the invocation of the Muse from Homer’s classic epic poem, Odysseus Goes to the Store. Make sure not to accidentally invoke the rock band Muse instead like I did, they’re still asking me to pay them for the impromptu performance.
  1. Take a break from this hard work. Make a sandwich. But while assembling your sandwich watch out for roving bands of bees, they love stealing people food and also my lunch money.
  1. Remind yourself to call your mother, she’s sent lots of emails talking about how worried she is about you.
  1. Do a funny dance to that song from the end of Shrek 2. Man, that sure was a funny movie. Reminisce about the part where the cat spat up a hairball. That sure was funny.
  1. Time to finally start drawing. Draw whatever comes to mind. For me, this usually ends up being a bunch of cabbages in various funny hats. But it can be anything for you, let your imagination soar. Don’t worry if it happens to be something extremely taboo like giraffe on human action, as long as it’s tasteful, it’s art.
  1. Erase everything you’ve dawn, all of the previous steps were just to get the creativity flowing.
  1. Draw a political cartoon. Make it good.

And there you have it, ten easy steps to drawing a political cartoon. Make sure to spread the word on this technique, so that everyone who laughed at me can see just how wrong they all are. We’ll show them. We’ll show them all.


-WK ’19, illustrated by RF ’17

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