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Drawing the Line

Chapter 1.
Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence

Richard Scully, University of New England
Marian Quartly, Monash University

This introduction deals in survey with the major issues surrounding the use of cartoons in history and historical scholarship to date; as well as arguing the need for a greater complexity of thought when dealing with questions of image construction, audience, and visual metaphor. The introduction provides a brief overview of the succeeding chapters and places them in a broader context of the history of the political cartoon. It also ties the issues dealt with in the book into the broader debates over cartoons in the present.

Historians have long used – and sometimes misused – cartoons as a source of evidence. The cartoon has told us much about what actually happened within the worlds of politics, religion, and the bureaucracy; and more recently about political and social attitudes to all of these, together with war, famine, terrorism and all kinds of disaster, and more happy public events like royal weddings and sporting victories. Cartoonists have enlightened the history of the last three centuries of Europe, the last two centuries of her colonies, and in the last century of nations across the whole world: wherever broadsheets and newspapers were sold to a literate or indeed semi-literate public.

However despite the long-felt belief that cartoons are among ‘the great sources’ for students of the past, the history of their use in historical writing has been a chequered one.1 The meaning of a cartoon image, like a photograph, often seems to be immediately accessible to the reader, and herein lies the cause of much misuse of cartoons. In its mildest form the cartoon is introduced as a kind of decoration, to break up the text and give an impression of historicity, rather than adding to the historian’s argument. Perhaps the most pernicious usage is the casual deployment of a single cartoon as supporting evidence, without any reading of the artistic and cultural conventions shaping its content. Modern historians have learnt to read written documents as complex texts whose meaning is rarely self-evident, but cartoons and other visual sources still escape critical analysis.

This collection of essays offers itself as an example of good practice. The authors take as their brief a reading of the cartoon as text, as a cultural artefact which is neither a passive reflector of reality, nor passively received by readers. In this light a critical historical reading of a cartoon, or a body of cartoons, must look to understand the conditions both of its making and of its reception. This understanding shapes any factual reading that a historian makes. Just as importantly, it is itself evidence of the broad culture of the cartoon’s time and place: what Raymond Williams in his timeless words described as a society’s ‘state or habit of mind, or the body of intellectual and moral activities... a whole way of life.’ Take, for example, the appearance of Kaiser Wilhelm II as a despotic child figure in English cartoons of the late nineteenth century, a theme addressed by Richard Scully’s contribution here. An assessment of English attitudes to the Kaiser based on a commonsense reading of a single cartoon might find nothing but hostility and contempt. A critical textual reading of the whole body of Kaiser cartoons discovers a sequence of interdependent images whose meanings must be understood in terms of the Kaiser’s familial position as Queen Victoria’s favourite grandson. The effect complicates and moderates any reading of English hostility to the Kaiser before the First World War, and is itself evidence of a cultural affiliation with things German.

The example of the Kaiser also illustrates one of the key problems with using cartoons as historical evidence: the issue of ‘the sample’. Cartoons are often collected and published in anthologies, the contents of which have been carefully selected by editors to make a point. This may be nothing more than a wish to show off the wealth of classic material produced by one particular publication: the recent ‘complete’ collection of the cartoons from the New Yorker, or the commonplace Pick of ‘Punch’ anthologies, for instance.2 But just as often, the sample of cartoons earmarked for a particular publication will select those images which support a particular case and exclude those which do not. Joe Harris’s The Bitter Fight: A Pictorial History of the Australian Labour Movement does not draw upon the major metropolitan newspapers, and there are none of the many pro-German cartoons published in Punch before 1914 in Mr. Punch’s History of the Great War.3 The agenda of an editor may be less political, but the reader must still proceed with caution. For example, one of the key purposes of the historian William Coupe’s encyclopaedic German Political Satires from the Reformation to the Second World War was simply to illustrate that the Germans were not ‘the most submissive nation on earth’, but that German cartoonists supported a long tradition of social and political criticism of their rulers.4 Coupe’s selection is very broad, yet still largely exclusive of those cartoons expressing blind obedience to government (save for the period of the Third Reich, when no criticism was tolerated, and a special cartoons department was established by Dr. Goebbels’ propaganda ministry). On a somewhat different level, the anthologist or editor may be limited by the availability of cartoons for discussion or reproduction (Punch appears in most university and institutional libraries; its rivals Judy and Fun are rare), thus privileging the evidence provided by one (or two) periodicals.5 Already we see that a cartoon is not simply a cartoon.

To understand the conditions of a cartoon’s making one must go back to the source in which it originally appeared. Reading this source may also require some appreciation of its technological possibilities and limitations. The grotesqueries of the seminal era of the development of cartoons may appear blatant and ‘easy to read’, but as James Agland shows in ‘Madness and Masculinity’, even these are highly political, and based upon an existing cultural milieu which is in need of deciphering. Likewise the inclusion of considerable text alongside (and often permeating) the cartoon image itself makes for a highly complex source for investigation. Even so, the meanings conveyed by eighteenth century woodcuts of the kind studied by Agland is necessarily more blunt than the nuances carried by a finely hatched and shaded lithographic print. The subtleties of later works – like the Thomas Nast cartoons that Fiona Deans Halloran takes as her subject – were far less free in their use of text, as well as in the ‘politeness’ of their allegories. In both the cases of Agland’s and Halloran’s evidence, moreover, the published print or cartoon might not convey exactly the original intent of its author, having been necessarily redrawn by the print-maker in the process of transferring the designs from sketch, to woodblock, to prints. A notable example of this concerns the native inhabitants of Botany Bay as sketched by Sydney Parkinson – slender, vulnerable – becoming heroic Greeks and noble savages in the plates prepared for sale in London. It was not until the last decade of the nineteenth century that cartoonists could draw directly onto the plate, an exercise requiring great technical skill. Today the typical cartoon is a quick sketch sent by fax or email, and as such are freer from the technological constraints of past ages of cartooning.

Limitations bearing on the cartoonist’s art can also include censorship of content. Newspapers and magazines are inherently political, and expect their cartoonists to draw to their particular line. Both the content and the style of cartoons in a labour paper like the London Daily Herald will differ consistently from those appearing in the cheerfully middle-class London Punch. Resident cartoonists are hired with this understanding, and generally seem content to censor themselves. Cartoons that don’t fit the ‘official line’ can be published elsewhere; Claude Marquet of the Sydney Australian Worker sent his religious satires to Labor Call and his social satires to the Melbourne Punch. Some cartoonists are remembered as apolitical artists who drew whatever their editor suggested. Sir John Tenniel was apparently closely guided by the ‘Punch table’ of editors and subeditors (though his independence was more pronounced than usually believed), and the Bulletin’s Norman Lindsay was happy to follow editorial line and content (though his aesthetic ‘line’ remained idiosyncratic and instantly recognisable).6 The American soldier cartoonists, explored by Jay Casey in his contribution to this volume, might have been thought to be subject to the most stringent of censorship regimes; yet as Casey shows, far more leeway was granted to those cartoonists who sought to highlight the grumbles of everyday soldiers living a very hard life (though criticism of the war effort itself was not to be tolerated). So too in post-Second World War Yugoslavia, with satire mobilised totally in the service of the Socialist state, censorship was a daily fact of life. As Ivana Dobrivojevic shows, this powerful propaganda tool could be made to serve very different agendas as governments changed their allegiance according to the vagaries of Cold War politics, with the original criticism of the American Superpower soon being suppressed following Tito’s turn away from the Eastern Bloc. Criticism of Stalin’s USSR, unthinkable in the late 1940s, became de rigueur following the relaxation of such restrictions.

Censorship is, perhaps, a more dramatic issue in today’s global, digital world. The products of different cultural traditions jostle with each other on the web, and ethnic sensibilities are readily outraged by images produced in less sensitive cultural contexts. The most notorious case recently has been the twelve cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, published in the Danish broadsheet newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 and later distributed globally via the internet. The mere exhibition of an image of the prophet is considered blasphemous by some Islamic communities, let alone making him the object of satire. Reactions in Africa and the Middle East produced riots between Muslims and Christians that left more than sixty people dead. In the West serious questions were asked about racial tolerance and freedom of the press.7 It is within this context that Marianne Hicks examines the peculiar conventions and ethics of webcomics and ‘Teh Futar’ of cartoons online.

The story of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons makes it clear that both in their making and in their reception, visual representations take (and lose) meaning from specific cultural contexts far more readily than words do. Within the Western tradition cartoons have drawn meaning from a broad range of public knowledge and experience: theatrical, literary, architectural, religious and particularly aesthetic. The nineteenth century trope of heroes and heroines portrayed as Greek and Roman gods and goddesses is a striking example. While a classical education in ancient mythology was part of the training of the European middle classes, one may doubt that very many young Australians learnt the stories of Oedipus and the Sphinx or Penelope and her suitors at school – and yet cartoonists readily presented local politicians as characters like these and expected the allusions to be understood. Prometheus chained to his rock confronting the liver eating vulture was a particular favourite of the Australian labour press, being regularly used to represent heroic workers under pressure in the first decades of the twentieth century. And this gives a clue to the ready reception of this ancient champion of mankind; cartoonists drew on each other’s tropes and readers learnt the story’s meaning without ever reading Hesiod or Byron.

Classical influences also shaped metaphorical readings of the human body before the First World War. From the time of the earliest woodcuts a beautiful body carried connotations of virtue, and an ugly one of vice or at best stupidity. In the nineteenth century cartoonists (often academically trained as illustrators) drew on the long Western tradition of idealising the Greek and Roman standards of beauty, generally lightly-clad beauty, as markers of moral perfection.8 Thus the national abstractions Britannia, Germania and Columbia have the generous endowments of a Greek Artemis, and real politicians like Gladstone and Disraeli are given bodies incongruously like Adonis.9 In their paper here, Nick Dyrenfurth and Marian Quartly show how Labour cartoonists draw on the Greek tradition of the beautiful, well-muscled male body to make a hero of the Australian worker, and condemn the capitalist Fatman by exploiting a popular English tradition equating corpulence with greed.

The bodies of animals also carry symbolic meanings. These allegories need to be deconstructed in their original context before the cartoon can be mined for more concrete evidence. In the Western cartoon tradition nations have often been represented by an originally heraldic animal: the British lion, the Russian bear, the German (and American) eagle. These have been imagined as carrying the distinctive characteristics of whole peoples. For the cartoonist the images are also open to satire – the mangy lion, the clumsy bear, the plucked chicken-like eagle – and David Low, the brilliant cartoonist of the 1930s and ‘40s, was dismissive of the tradition of the ‘sacred animals’.10 Individual politicians are often mocked by being represented as animals; Australian cartoonists have often represented political followers as loyal – and dumb – dogs. These metaphors are easy enough to read from within their home culture, but the message does not always translate across cultures; Islamic and some Asian societies read the dog as unclean and inherently evil.

Cartoons can also carry references so specific to a time and a culture that historians may never uncover all their layers of meaning. A revelatory moment came during the making of this volume when Richard Scully, expert in the works of mid-nineteenth century cartoonists and illustrators, recognised the monster whose separated head and prone body are triumphantly displayed by the heroic figure ‘Democracy Triumphant’ in a 1903 cartoon by Claude Marquet. The monster, labelled ‘Unscrupulous Press Domination’, is unmistakably John Tenniel’s imagining of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwock.11 It is clear that Marquet copied his allegorical monster from a copy of Alice Through the Looking Glass. What is unclear is Marquet’s intended meaning. Was the Jabberwock merely a menacing figure from his childhood reading, ready to be called into action in the iconic production of the Australian worker-voter as hero? Or does the reference to Lewis’s nonsense poem carry also a deflationary irony, a sense that the worker-hero was as mythical as the beast that he slew?

The question ‘Was it meant to be funny’ takes the historian across an unsteady terrain of time and culture. As Stephen J Lee noted in 1994, what a given society finds amusing reveals a great deal about those who produced the joke, and about the people at whom the joke was directed – so it is perhaps not surprising that nineteenth century humour can be incomprehensible to the twenty-first century reader.12 David Low detected an increasing refinement in the humour in nineteenth century cartoons, of which he disapproved. He noted that by the time of Sir John Tenniel, Linley Sambourne and Bernard Partridge, cartoonists had

rubbed the rough places off the genuine article and substituted dignity and grace for strength and power in political caricature, so that one no longer laughed – if one laughed at all – from the stomach, but from the front teeth13

But Tenniel, Marquet’s model, insisted that he often believed his cartoons to be ‘really funny’.14 One should not of course assume that humour was always ‘a necessary weapon in the cartoonists’ armoury’.15 Punch’s elaborate allegories were often designed to elicit not laughter from readers, but solemn awe, or outraged fury.

A respectable body of scholarly literature supports the interpretive and analytical use of cartoons as evidence.16 Mark Bryant’s monthly analysis in History Today ‘Behind the Lines’ is perhaps the most notable ongoing contribution to cartoon scholarship. Month by month (since late 2005) Bryant has explored both the importance of individual cartoonists and cartoons, as well as providing insight into the broader history of caricature and political cartooning itself.17 Indeed Bryant is (with Timothy Benson) in many ways the greatest contemporary champion of the use of cartoons in history, his expertise first emerging while undertaking postgraduate study at the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent.18 The author and editor of a number of important survey works (including anthologies of cartoons from the world wars) Bryant has also been at the forefront of recent biographical scholarship on British cartoonists.19

The biographical model, comprising semi-encyclopaedic sketches of various cartoonists, or following a single cartoonist and his (or her) career, has been a staple of the literature for many years. Bryant & Heanage’s Dictionary of British Cartoonists provides a more academic treatment of a form of study begun by the expatriate New Zealander David Low in the 1940s, with his often irreverent assessment of the giants of British caricature.20 Cartoonists were often the first chroniclers of their trade, both as anthologists and biographers; Australian examples include Peter Coleman and Les Tanner’s Cartoons of Australian History from the 1970s, and Vane Lindesay’s numerous contributions of the last few decades.21 More recently Trina Robbins has redressed the preponderance of works on ‘Great Men’ by producing a study of the key role played by women cartoonists, particularly in the American tradition.22 ‘Great Men’ have indeed been the dominant subjects of scholarship over the decades, in studies varying from full-blown biographies to edited collections of key examples of a cartoonist’s work.23 Fiona Deans Halloran’s contribution to this volume represents one facet of a larger project looking at the life and work of Thomas Nast, a key American cartoonist of the Civil War era who has largely escaped scrutiny for almost thirty years.

The biographical model usefully enables the historian to present key contextual analysis of a series of cartoons while also detailing the specific factors influencing a cartoonist (such as personal politics, the relationship with editors, or technological issues) with implications for the broader study of cartoons in general. Similarly, the anthology model – in which a large sample of cartoons is presented with accompanying brief commentary – provides specific contextual detail relevant to a series of cartoons illustrating a single period or theme of history, or national tradition.24 The anthology itself owes much to the recognition (now quite advanced) of cartoonists as practitioners of fine art, Vane Lindsay’s Drawing from Life and Joan Kerr’s study Artists and Cartoonists in Black and White: The Most Public Art putting the case in Australia in the 1990s.25 This recognition has led to numerous exhibitions, and even the opening of specialist galleries, devoted entirely to social and political cartoons (such as the recently-founded Political Cartoon Gallery in London).26 Exhibition catalogues from such displays and institutions form yet another important sub-genre of the existing literature on cartoons and cartoonists, often providing important contextual detail as part of their analysis of the works themselves.27 As noted above, however, the anthology model – of which exhibition catalogues are by their nature necessarily a version – also presents one of the pitfalls for study of cartoons, as readers need to be aware of any agenda determining the selection of the cartoons appearing in a given volume. More encyclopaedic catalogues, such as those listing the entire holdings of a major depository or institution, suffer less from the ‘problem of the sample’. What is more, the commentary contained within such catalogues is usually penned by scholars working in the field of cartoons and caricature, or by specialist librarians whose knowledge of the collection is usually without parallel outside the host institution.28

In terms of more theoretical and methodological explorations of cartoons as historical sources, there exist few full-scale studies. L. H. Streicher and William A. Coupe were the first to argue for a unified theoretical approach in the 1960s, though Coupe’s doubt whether the call was ‘likely to be answered in the near future’ has proven correct.29 Writing in 1973, Thomas Kemnitz spoke of the same reluctance by historians to use ‘cartoon material as evidence to answer wider questions’ that persists today, and is part of the inspiration for this volume.30 What theoretical and scholarly literature exists tends (like the biographical and anthology models noted above) to be focused upon national traditions of cartoons, a key focal point being the American tradition. Chris Lamb’s recent Drawn to Extremes is one of the first serious attempts to address the important role played by editorial cartoonists in American political history; it connects the work of Nast others in the nineteenth century to the controversies over September 11 and the Iraq War.31 Similarly, in a finely-worked study, literary historian Martha Banta used a close reading of a limited sample of nineteenth and early twentieth century cartoons to chart some seismic shifts in society and the American sense of identity.32 Germany too has become something of a centre for studies of this kind, though between the work of Udo Michael Krüger and W. A. Coupe’s explorations of German caricature through its whole history in the 1980s, and Anke Beisswänger’s examination of the impact of cartoons on the 2002 Federal election, only a precious few others have appeared.33 A notable exception is Wolfgang Hünig’s recent attempt to advance cartoon research by the application of cognitive linguistics to the interpretation of British and German cartoons of the First World War.34 Indeed Hünig’s and Banta’s work are evidence of a readiness to take a comparative approach to analysis (the former observing connections and dissonances in the British and German traditions, the latter in the American and British). This comparative approach is something which is taken up by postgraduate students in the field, indeed it seems that much of the practical groundwork on theory continues to be done at postgraduate level (albeit with the support of sympathetic academic supervisors), illustrating the further need for a work of the present kind.35 By way of further emphasising the relative novelty of serious scholarship on cartoons, it was not until May 2004 that the first academic conference on ‘Political Cartoons as Historical Sources’ was held at the German Historical Institute in London (and at which postgraduates played a key role).36

Given the range of issues considered above, contributors to Drawing the Line were encouraged to pursue aspects of the methodological and theoretical issues most relevant to their own work. Though each contribution represents a facet of the author’s own unique research interests, they are united by a desire to advance the study of political cartoons as serious historical sources. What emerges is both a useful introduction to the benefits and pitfalls of using cartoons as evidence, as well as a series of practical examples of how cartoons can best be used to shed light on larger issues. In addition, each chapter is also relevant to the study of its own field: whether that be eighteenth century British society; resistance and collaboration in Second World War Malaya (as in Cheng Tju Lim’s paper); or the growth of Australian national identity (Simon Sleight’s ‘Wavering Between Virtue and Vice’). The international nature of the contributors (we have examples from all but the South American continent) also serves to illustrate the global relevance of the cartoon, as well as being a conscious attempt to bridge the divide between the different national traditions: another problem which continues to limit the of cartoon study. Drawing the Line is therefore intended to be, as the title suggests, a significant watershed from which future scholarship may develop in this important area of historical inquiry.

Endnotes

1    A. J. Balfour, 12 July 1901, speech at the retirement of Sir John Tenniel, quoted in The Times, 13 July 1901.

2    Robert Mankoff, editor. 2004, The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, New York: Black Dog & Leventhal; The Pick of ‘Punch’: An Annual Selection, London: Chatto & Windus, various editions.

3    Joe Harris, 1970, The Bitter Fight: A Pictorial History of the Australian Labour Movement, Brisbane, University of Queensland Press; [C. L. Graves], 1919, Mr. Punch’s History of the Great War, London: Cassell & Co.

4    The expression ‘most submissive nation on earth’ is Emil Ludwig’s: Emil Ludwig, 1926, Kaiser Wilhelm II, E. Colburn Mayne, translator, London: G. P. Putnam’s: 343. W. A. Coupe, 1985–1993, German Political Satires from the Reformation to the Second World War, 6 Volumes, White Plains: Kraus International Publications. This larger theme was also explored in: W. A. Coupe, 1980, ‘Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Cartoonists’, in History Today: 30 (11): 16–22; & W. A. Coupe, 2001, ‘Bismarck and the Cartoonists’, in History Today: 51 (10): 42–48.

5    As in: W. K. Hünig, 2002, British and German Cartoons as Weapons in World War I, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang (Hünig deals only with Punch and Simplicissimus). The issue of reproduction is an aspect of the scholarly treatment of cartoons (and other images) which does not face traditional, text-based studies. Reproduction of the cartoons in full is essential to any analysis, and the costs of this are often prohibitive. The sheer amount of space required to produce large numbers of cartoons in conjunction with text also limits the scope of the historian, a problem faced by the contributors to this volume just as by Coupe in his mammoth study (Coupe, Political Satires, 5, Introduction).

6    David Low was almost dismissive of Tenniel’s apparent lack of agency, while others have emphasised his significant input into Punch’s political satires. See: David Low, 1942, British Cartoonists, Caricaturists and Comic Artists, London: William Collins: 20; Frankie Morris, 2005, Artist of Wonderland: the Life, Political Cartoons and Illustrations of Tenniel, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press: 226.

7    Lindsay Foyle, 2006, ‘Freedom of the Press’, Inkspot: 48, Autumn. Accessed 20 November 2007. Available at: http://www.abwac.org.au/downloads/Inkspot48.pdf. More recently, a similar case of ethnic slurring in cartoon form centred on the New York Post’s image of police shooting dead the famous Connecticut pet chimpanzee, which badly mauled a woman in February 2009. The apparent insinuation by cartoonist Sean Delonas that President Barack Obama could be likened to the rogue ape created a storm of protest, given the abhorrent racial stereotype equating African Americans with subhuman apelike creatures. See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4691161/New-York-newspaper-accused-of-racism-over-Barack-Obama-chimpanzee-cartoon.htm. Accessed 15 April 2009. Also see Fiona Deans Halloran’s chapter in this collection for examples of the stereotype in past cartoon epochs.

8    Marian Quartly, 2005, ‘Labour Cartoonists and the Australian Worker, 1903–16’, Labour History: 89: 159–178.

9    David Low was amused that under Tenniel, Sambourne and Partridge, Punch seemed to ‘have the whole Britannia family’ of such allegorical females on the staff. See: Low, 1942, British Cartoonists: 19.

10   David Low, 1956, Low’s Autobiography, London: Michael Joseph: 211. It is worth noting that recently, the commonly-held notion that Tenniel was representing Disraeli and Gladstone in his illustrations of the Lion and the Unicorn for the Alice books has come into question. See: Morris, 2005, Artist of Wonderland: 206. Also see: Richard Aldous, 2007, The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs Disraeli, London: Pimlico: xi, 244.

11   See Quartly, 2005, ‘Labour Cartoonists’: 166; and for the Jabberwock, see: Lewis Carroll, 1999, Through the Looking Glass: And What Alice Found There, London: Courier Dover: 11. (also Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabberwocky).

12   Stephen J. Lee, 1994, Aspects of British Political History, 1815–1914, London: Routledge: 324.

13   Low, 1956, Autobiography: 90.

14   John Tenniel, cited in M. H. Spielmann, 1895, The History of ‘Punch’, London: Cassell & Company: 463.

15   E. Gombrich, cited in: Mark Bryant & Simon Heneage, 1994, Dictionary of British Cartoonists and Caricaturists, 1730–1980, Aldershot: Scolar: viii.

16   A comprehensive bibliography of key sources and suggested further reading may be found at the conclusion of this volume.

17   Bryant’s first analysis (2005) was the appropriately themed: ‘The First Cartoon’, a brief biographical sketch of John Leech of Punch’, History Today: 55 (11): 58–59). Bryant has since been able to deal with a wide variety of cartoonists and cartoons, though aside from a few forays across the Channel (to deal with Dreyfusard cartoons), and east to Moscow (relating to Sputnik) his focus has to date been firmly on the Anglo-American tradition. Recent outstanding pieces include an analysis of Clifford Berryman’s invention of the ‘Teddy Bear’ (2007, ‘If You Go Down to the Woods Today... ’, History Today: 57 (3): 58–59), and of Tenniel’s key representations of the Indian Mutiny (2007, ‘Britannia’s Victorian War Artist’, History Today: 57 (5): 58–59). Also see: M. Bryant, 2007, ‘‘J’accuse...!’: cartoons of the Dreyfus affair’, History Today: 57 (9): 60–61; & M. Bryant, 2007, ‘Cartoons of the Red Moon’, History Today: 57 (10): 58–59.

18   Mark Bryant, 2002, ‘Behind the Thin Black Line: Leslie Illingworth and the Political Cartoon in Wartime’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kent. Benson, the founder of the Political Cartoon Society, also completed his postgraduate studies at Kent; see: Timothy Benson, 1998, ‘Low and Lord Beaverbrook: The Case of a Cartoonist’s Autonomy’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kent.

19   Bryant & Heneage, 1994, Dictionary of British Cartoonists and Caricaturists; M. Bryant, 2001, ‘Crusader, White Rabbit, or Organ-Grinder’s Monkey? Leslie Illingworth and the British Political Cartoon in World War II, Journal of European Studies: 31: 345–366.

20   Low, 1942, British Cartoonists, Caricaturists and Comic Artists.

21   P. Coleman & L. Tanner, 1978, Cartoons of Australian History, West Melbourne: Thomas Nelson; Vane Lindsay, 1979, The Inked-In Image: A Social and Historical Survey of Australian Comic Art, Richmond: Hutchinson; Vane Lindsay, 1983, The Way We Were: Australian Popular Magazines, Melbourne: Oxford University Press; Vane Lindsay, 2001, Stop Laughing: This is Serious! : The Life and Work of Stan Cross, 1888–1977, Carlton: Melbourne University Press.

22   Trina Robbins, 2001, The Great Women Cartoonists, New York: Watson-Guptill.

23   Of the former genre, key examples include: Ross McMullin, 2006, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, Melbourne: Scribe; Morris, 2005, Artist of Wonderland; J. Canemaker, 2005, editor. Winsor McCay: His Life and Art, New York: Harry N. Abrams; T. French, 2001, The Man Who Was Walter Mitty: The Life and Works of James Thurber, New York: New Century; Harrison Kinney, 1995, James Thurber: His Life and Times, New York: Henry Holt & Co.; Rodney K. Engen, 1991, Sir John Tenniel: Alice’s White Knight, Aldershot: Scolar Press; Colin Seymour-Ure & Jim Schoff, 1985, David Low, London: Secker & Warburg; Ross McMullin, 1984, Will Dyson: Cartoonist, Etcher and Australia’s Finest War Artist, Sydney: Angus & Robertson; Low, Low’s Autobiography; Frances Sarzano, 1948, Sir John Tenniel, London: Art & Technics.

Of the latter, key examples include: Richard H. Minear, 2001, editor. Dr. Suess Goes to War: the World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Suess Geisel, New York: New Press; C. Banerji & D. Donald, 1999, editors. Gillray Observed: The Earliest Account of His Caricatures in London and Paris, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Mark Bryant, 1996, editor. Vicky’s Supermac: Harold Macmillan in Cartoons by Victor Weisz of the Evening Standard, London: Park Street; Mark Bryant, 1996, editor. 25 Years of Mac: The Best of Mac’s Cartoons from the Daily Mail, 1971–1996, London: Park MacDonald; Mark Bryant, 1992, editor. The Comic Cruikshank, London: Bellew; Mark Bryant, 1991, editor. The Complete Colonel Blimp, London: Bellew; Thomas Nast St Hill, 1974, editor. Thomas Nast: Cartoons and Illustrations, New York: Dover; James Gillray, 1968, The Works of James Gillray: 582 Plates and Supplement Containing the 45 So-Called ‘Suppressed Plates’, New York: B. Blom.

24   Timothy Benson, 2007, Cartoon Century: Modern Britain Through the Eyes of Cartoonists, London: Random House; Zbynek Zeman, 1984, Heckling Hitler – Caricatures of the Third Reich, London: Orbis Books (also those works by Bryant mentioned above). The anthology-with-commentary is a model favoured by in particular by Roy Douglas: Roy Douglas, Liam Hart & Jim O’Hara, 1998, Drawing Conclusions: A Cartoon History of Anglo-Irish Relations, 1798–1998, Belfast: Blackstaff; Roy Douglas, 1995, The Great War, 1914–1918: The Cartoonists’ Vision, London: Routledge; Roy Douglas, 1993, ‘Great Nations Still Enchained’: The Cartoonists’ Vision of Empire, 1848–1914, London: Routledge; Roy Douglas, 1992, Between Wars: 1919–1939, The Cartoonists’ Vision, London: Routledge; Roy Douglas, 1990, The World War, 1939–1945: The Cartoonists’ Vision, London: Routledge.

25   Vane Lindesay, 1994, Drawing From Life: A History of the Australian Black and White Artists’ Club, Sydney: State Library of NSW Press; Joan Kerr, 1999, Artists and Cartoonists in Black and White: The Most Public Art, Sydney: National Trust and the S.H. Ervin Gallery.

26   The gallery is affiliated with the Political Cartoon Society, and can be found at 32 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BS. Website: http://www.politicalcartoon.co.uk/html/gallery.html. Accessed: 2 December 2007. A key exhibition of recent times is the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘The Satirical Eye: Comedy and Critique from Hogarth to Daumier’, 27 February–26 July 2009. Accessed 14 April 2009. Available at: http://www.ngv.vic.gov/satiricaleye/.

27   David J. Alexander, 1998, Richard Newton and English Caricature in the 1790s, New York: Whitworth Art Gallery; K. Herrmann, H. Husemann & L. Moyle, 1995, editors. Coping with the Relations: Anglo-German Cartoons from the Fifties to the Nineties = deutsch-britisch Karikaturen von den Funfziger bis zu den Neunziger Jahren, Third revised edition, Osnabruck: Secolo; Will Dyson, 1980, Will Dyson Cartoons, Caricatures and Prints, 1880–1938, Sydney: Australian Gallery Directors Council in Association with Bendigo Art Gallery; and, in a more popular example, the exhibition catalogue: Anon., 1973, 50 Years of the Newspaper Cartoon in Australia, Adelaide: The News, in association with the Art Gallery of South Australia.

28   See for instance: Mary Dorothy George, 1978, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, London: British Museum.

29   William A. Coupe, 1969, ‘Observations on a Theory of Political Caricature’, Comparative Studies in Society and History: 11 (1): 79–95. Also see: L. H. Streicher, 1967, ‘On a Theory of Political Caricature’, Comparative Studies in Society and History: 9 (4): 427–445.

30   Thomas Milton Kemnitz, 1973, ‘The Cartoon As a Historical Source’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History: 4 (1): 81.

31   Chris Lamb, 2004, Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons, New York: Columbia University Press.

32   Martha Banta, 2003, Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841–1936, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

33   U. M. Krüger, 1981, ‘Politische Karikaturen in meinungsbildenden Tageszeitungen’, Publizistik: Vierteljahreshefte für Kommunikationsforschung: 26 (1): 56–85; A. Beisswänger, 2005, Politik und Karikatur: Der Bundestagwahlkampf 2002 im Spiegel von Karikaturen in ausgewahlten Tageszeitungen, Munich: Martin Meidenbauer. Coupe’s studies are listed above. Also: Jost Rebentisch, 2000, Die vielen Gesichter des Kaisers: Wilhelm II. In der deutschen und britischen Karikatur (1888–1918), Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

34   Hünig, British and German Cartoons as Weapons: 5.

35   The number of recent and ongoing doctoral dissertations taking cartoons as a prime focus is also encouraging. Only a few can be listed here as an indication of the strength of the field – Bryant and Benson’s work are listed above. Also see: Jon Clair Gordon, 1990, ‘International Political Cartoons as Rhetoric: A Content Analysis’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University; James Agland, 2004, ‘“Political Masculinities” in the Caricatures of the Regency Crisis’, unpublished MA dissertation, Monash University; S. Schneider, 2004, ‘Dame Britannia and Uncle Sam - Eine vergleichende Strukturanalyse von Auto- und Heterostereotypen in der britischen und amerikanischen Bildsatire, 1841–1914’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Erfurt; Lachlan R. Moyle, 2004, ‘“Drawing Conclusions”: An Imagological Survey of Britain and the British and Germany and the Germans in German and British Cartoons and Caricatures, 1945–2000’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Universität Osnabrück; Bruce Retallack, 2006, ‘Race, Class, Gender and Nation in Canadian Editorial Cartoons, 1840–1926’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.

36   Matthias Reiss, 2004, Conference Report: ‘Political Cartoons as Historical Sources, Conference of the German Historical Institute London, held at the GHIL on 7–8 May, 2004’, in Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, London: 26 (2): 111–116. Since then, at least one further major gathering has occurred. See the reports on the symposium: Anon., 2007, ‘The state of the editorial cartoon’, PS: Political Science and Politics: 40 (2): 223–318.

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Cite this chapter as: Scully, Richard; Quartly, Marian. 2009. ‘Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence’. Drawing the Line: Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence, edited by Scully, Richard; Quartly, Marian. Melbourne: Monash University ePress. pp. 1.1 to 1.13.

© Copyright 2009 Richard Scully and Marian Quartly

All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia’s Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission of the copyright owners. The fact that this book is published online does not mean that any part of it can be reproduced without first obtaining written permission: copyright laws do still apply. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University ePress: http://www.epress.monash.edu/contacts.html.

Drawing the Line

   by Richard Scully, Marian Quartly