How to Make Political Cartoons: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Political Cartoons: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Political Cartoons: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Expressing your political views through a political comic can be a humorous and effective way to get your message across. By using certain artistic techniques and elements, you can present a specific political issue in a light that is consistent with the content of your political topic. By knowing what to include and how to make it happen, you can make a great political comic and get your views across more clearly.


Part 1 of 3: Planning the cartoon

Make a Political Cartoon Step 1
Make a Political Cartoon Step 1

Step 1. Look at some examples

Before you start creating your political comic, you might want to take a moment to look at some examples. By looking at examples of published political cartoons you can get a good idea of the common elements, themes and ideas behind this type of cartoon.

  • Political cartoons aim to illustrate a particular issue and express a point of view on it.
  • Political cartoons generally use simple illustrations to get their point across quickly and clearly.
  • Most political cartoons are intended to raise issues or defend political positions.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 2
Make a Political Cartoon Step 2

Step 2. Think about your message

The focus of your political cartoon will be the message. Political cartoons focus on a particular subject, attacking or defending it using various artistic elements. Think about what you want to say and how you would like to say it.

  • Think about what topic you want to cover in your cartoon.
  • Think about what you want to say about the topic.
  • Think about how you might portray the issue in your cartoon.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 3
Make a Political Cartoon Step 3

Step 3. Think about what symbolism you want to incorporate into it

A common technique in political cartoons is symbolism. Symbols are images that represent bigger ideas and can be a direct way to incorporate large or complex ideas into your cartoon.

  • Elephants and donkeys are good examples of commonly used symbols to represent political parties.
  • Eagles are often used to represent the US as a country.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 4
Make a Political Cartoon Step 4

Step 4. Consider including exaggerations

Political cartoons often use exaggeration when they feature well-known public figures. Exaggeration is usually used when a caricature is made of a political figure, emphasizing unique physical features.

  • Exaggerating someone's facial features can make them more recognizable.
  • You can use exaggeration to show someone in a certain light, depending on the message you want to convey.
  • Generally, caricatures are used to ridicule someone or their message.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 5
Make a Political Cartoon Step 5

Step 5. Label elements in your comic

Most other forms of cartooning and art don't make heavy use of labels. However, political cartoons use labels to increase the impact of their message so that the cartoon's storyline becomes clear. Try adding labels to figures or things that might otherwise be unclear what they represent.

  • Using labels can be a good technique to convey the message of the comic.
  • While labels are acceptable in political cartoons, it's best not to overuse them.
  • Label only important aspects of your cartoon.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 6
Make a Political Cartoon Step 6

Step 6. Use analogies

One technique that political cartoons often use is the analogy. An analogy is used to relate one concept to another, often in an effort to make an issue or message more understandable. Consider using analogies in your comic to help your readers see the issue from a different perspective.

  • Think in terms of 'like'.
  • For example, you can compare international disputes over borders to children arguing on a playground over who gets to go on the slide.

Part 2 of 3: Making the cartoon

Make a Political Cartoon Step 7
Make a Political Cartoon Step 7

Step 1. Make a rough sketch of your cartoon

Once you have your message in mind and the elements you want to use to express it, you can start creating your cartoon. Creating a basic layout for your comic will give you an idea of how it will look visually and how well it will get your message across.

  • Think about how best to use the frames.
  • Ask yourself which elements are most important. Give them the most space and attention in your layout.
  • You might find that some original ideas don't fit or cloud the intended message of the comics. Consider removing these foreign elements.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 8
Make a Political Cartoon Step 8

Step 2. Create the line drawing

After you have determined the rough layout of your cartoon, you can start sketching the cartoon. Don't worry about whether your drawing will be perfect right away, because as you work you will make various improvements. Take your time and enjoy creating and imagining your comic.

  • Start sketching with a pencil so you can make changes later.
  • Once you're happy with how the sketch looks, start cleaning up your lines.
  • Clean up your sketch lines by emphasizing them or by erasing rough areas and drawing them neater.
  • It's no problem to make some last-minute changes and to dot the i's and cross the t's.
  • When you're happy with how your strip looks, you can finish the lines with black ink.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 9
Make a Political Cartoon Step 9

Step 3. Add a dialog

Many political cartoons use dialogue presented in a so-called 'speech bubble'. These keep the text in a blank white space so that the audience can read the text clearly. Now draw speech bubbles and place the text in them to display the dialogue you want to record.

  • Speech bubbles are generally smooth and oval in shape, with a tapered arrow pointing toward the speaker.
  • You can also use thought clouds. Thought clouds are like speech bubbles, but appear as little clouds, containing your characters' inner dialogue.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 10
Make a Political Cartoon Step 10

Step 4. Color in your cartoon

If your comic asks for color, you can add it after your text is finished. Adding color can be a great way to make your comic stand out and provide an opportunity to convey further symbolism or messages. Think carefully about which colors you want to use and take the time to add them.

  • Colors can have meaning. For example, the Democratic Party of the United States uses blue as its color.
  • You can use any coloring page you feel comfortable with, including crayons, inks, or even colored pencils.
  • You can also consider scanning a black and white image into your computer and coloring it digitally.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 11
Make a Political Cartoon Step 11

Step 5. Use an online service or software to create your comic

If you're not confident in your artistic skills, you can still make your own political comic. There are many digital tools that can help you turn your idea for a political comic into reality. These services can be found both online and in the form of software, with some charging a fee and others free.

  • There are many programs that allow you to create a cartoon with digital art, just like you would with a pen and paper.
  • Some services come with standard drawings, so you can use them in your own layout by simply dragging figures and elements where you want them.

Part 3 of 3: Sharing your cartoon

Make a Political Cartoon Step 12
Make a Political Cartoon Step 12

Step 1. Share your cartoon with friends and family

When your cartoon is finished, you can consider sharing it with friends and relatives. Sharing your cartoon with people you know well will help you get a reasonable idea of how your cartoon will be received. Your comic can even spark a discussion that can lead to ideas for future comics.

  • Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion about the comic.
  • Any resulting discussions can be used for ideas in making future comics.
  • Ask your friends and family if they think your comic's "message" comes across clearly.
  • Discuss what they like about the comic or what changes they might suggest.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 13
Make a Political Cartoon Step 13

Step 2. Share your cartoon online

One of the easiest ways to share your cartoon with many people at once is by using social media. Via social media you can present your cartoon digitally to all your friends, subscribers or followers in one go. Sharing your comic online also gives you a lot of feedback that you can use to improve your future comics.

  • Some social media sites focus on artwork or comics.
  • Social media allows you to share your cartoon with a wide audience.
  • Online communities can provide helpful feedback to help you improve your comics.
Make a Political Cartoon Step 14
Make a Political Cartoon Step 14

Step 3. Get your cartoon published

Getting your comic published can be a great personal goal to have. Depending on the publisher where you hope to be published, your options for getting this done will vary. Select your comics that represent your best work, follow the work submission guidelines, and persevere to reach your publishing goal.

  • Send your comics to publishers or publishing groups.
  • There are many independent publishers that also accept comic strips.
  • Look at local or smaller publications to increase your chances of publication.
  • Perhaps self-publishing a collection of your cartoons or comics is an option for you.


  • Digital software can be a quick and easy way to create your comic.
  • Make a rough layout of the total strip.
  • Draw the strip roughly with pencil before refining and finishing the lines.
  • Think about what your message is and what ideas you want to convey.
  • Think about the methods you want to use to get the message across, including symbolism or analogy.

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