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What is a cartoon?

A cartoon is an image that makes us laugh - it might even be thought-provoking. It is the shortest way of bringing a story to the point, only in this case the punchline is hidden in a picture. We might not always get the joke but still laugh about it. The word is French and describes the cardboard 'carton', on which draughtspersons used to draw. Political cartoons with a critical message are called caricatures.

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