intersession2017 politicalCartoon COVER

Explore the art of political cartooning and its role in the “political discourse of a society that provides for freedom of speech and of the press.” According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, “a political cartoon is also an artistic vehicle characterized by both metaphorical and satirical language. It may point out the contexts, problems, and discrepancies of a political situation while not altering the facts. During the process of rendering opinions into such a visual form, many artistic decisions (regarding symbols, allegories, techniques, composition, and so forth) must be made. When successful, political cartoons can fulfill an important criticizing and controlling function in society.”

Students practiced the tools of satire, analysis, and ridicule while learning the art of political cartooning, the media available (print and digital), and how it can help shape conversations critical to our country and our world.


Session Led By: Mark Fiore

Pulitzer Prize–winner Mark Fiore, whom the Wall Street Journal has called “the undisputed guru of the form,” creates animated political cartoons in San Francisco, where his work has been featured on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site,, for over ten years. Fiore’s political animation has also been featured on broadcast outlets across the globe.

Beginning his professional life by drawing traditional political cartoons for newspapers, ranging from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times, in the late 1990s, he began to experiment with animating political cartoons. After a short stint at the San Jose Mercury News as their staff cartoonist, Fiore devoted all his energies to animation.

Fiore grew up in California, but he also spent a good portion of his life in the backwoods of Idaho. It was this combination that shaped him politically. Mark majored in political science at Colorado College, where, in a perfect send-off for a cartoonist, he received his diploma as commencement speaker Dick Cheney smiled approvingly. (Update: In a
bit of poetic justice, Fiore was the commencement speaker twenty years later.)





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