This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge posed the question: Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior high-school hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millennium? What do you think? The simple answer is: they could be.
For me the key to a great editorial cartoon is simplicity; if the reader has to sift through large blocks of text then the essence of the cartoon is lost. In fact the art work is secondary to the message in many cases.
With newspapers cutting back or getting rid of their paper editions and moving to online publications it only seems natural that GIFs could play a role in editorial cartooning as they force the author to keep it simple.
And yet are we on a “less is more” downward spiral? Computers are smaller, phones are smaller, all fine when you’re talking physicality, but content is shrinking as well. My middle-aged mind has a tough time watching the rapid-fire angle changes used on MTV; slow down and let me catch up! Sometimes a little bit more is better.
Marshall McLuhan once famously opined “The medium is the message”. This statement has been discussed and dissected for years, but one thing is certain, it’s a great saying not only for its profundity, but because at 25 characters it fits nicely in a Tweet and even left McLuhan room for a few hash tags!