People see cartoons everywhere from billboards to the New York Times, and at the glance of an eye the cartoon has to grab a persons attention. Gerberg describes six basic needs for a successful cartoon in his essay, “What is a Cartoon?”. He loosely defines a cartoon as an, “instant communication of a funny idea,” and suggests that the six basic needs are a cast, dialogue, gesture, setting, composition, and a cliche violation (Gerberg 223). All of these will help capture a persons attention in a matter of seconds and make the cartoon worth looking at.
The purpose behind Gerberg’s essay is to inform his audience on how to create and understand political and editorial cartoons that will last a life time instead of a matter of seconds. Gerberg’s primary audience are the people interested in cartoons. The people who make reading cartoons a habit and a hobby. The secondary audience are the cartoonists, the ones who create and want to improve their cartoons.
To successfully fulfill his purpose and intent of writing his essay, Gerberg uses examples from professional cartoonists. He identifies specific qualities in each cartoonist’s cartoon to provide adequate examples of the six guidelines. This evidence gathered from professionals is what makes Gerberg’s essay so successful. If people can point out these aids in the most popular cartoons, they will see how much it can help make a cartoon triumph over the rest of them and make it “[. . .] echo through a leftime” (Gerberg 222).
By showing his audiences how cartoons are made he hopes it will allow for a better understanding of the cartoon. Gerberg did not persuade his audience but informed them about cartoons. He covered different views and definitions from different cartoonists and then provided a simple definition of is own. There are meanings behind every cartoon and Gerberg’s essay helps people figure those out.