The Archive of Cartoons

The Archive of Cartoons

Author: Vidhyalakshmi

In this fast, impatient world, I sometimes crave for a pause button. And now I think that maybe the universe just granted my wish. It just happened. On one side, I feel terrible that I am away from all my friends and my fun college lifestyle, where I could do whatever I wished, but on the other hand, I feel blessed because I finally got the one thing that I always hoped for. I wanted a pause, I got a pause. Sounds a bit strange, I know. Through this quarantine, I began to realise the value of our childhood and the smallest of the small things which gave us so much happiness. This quarantine feels like a chance given to us to revisit our best memories and our old hobbies, which we left behind because of the busy lifestyle that our technology-driven world gave us. But one thing I won’t be able to revisit though is watching cartoons on TV with my friends. I miss those episodes of Tom and Jerry, Mr Bean, Doraemon, Powerpuff Girls and the tens of other cartoons I loved. Well consider this article as a tribute to the evolution of an art form which defined most of our childhood: CARTOONS.

Well, to my shock, the culture of drawing images started from the stone age itself, with the drawings engraved inside the caves, which gave us a clear picture of how the world was before the origin of civilization. We still use it as a form of expression. Fast forward to the 17th century, when cartoons were caricatures of socio-political issues, and William Hogarth became the precursor to the development of political and editorial cartoons. It was during the same era where cartoonists used humorous caricatures, depicting real-life personalities. The French revolution was the time when cartoonists used this art for propaganda.

Coming to the generation that we are familiar with, the 20th century, which is known for the growth of comic books and animation. They came into existence in the late 1840s with the novel ‘The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck.’  The continuous artistic development and public patronage towards comic books led to the Golden Age of Comic Books of the 1930s, which is considered the genesis of the comic books that we know today. The unbeaten streak of comic books continued into the Silver Age of Comic Books during the 1950s, which was also a period of artistic advancement.

Soon comics became the most influential pieces of work amongst the juvenile population. The book ‘The Seduction of the Innocent,’ by psychiatrist Fredrick Werthman serves as a fair example.

And the evolution of animation started in 1900. It gained its popularity from 1930 to 1950, which is known as the Golden Age of American Animation, which gave us the popularly loved characters of Mickey Mouse and Popeye. A lot of predictions were also called for by cartoon industry, and the best example for that is ‘The Simpsons in the Year 1989‘, which predicted that trump would become the president one day, and the exact thing happened 15 years down the line.

Even after so many years and so many advancements in this art, we still sometimes enjoy a good animated movie or an old episode of our favourite cartoon show. From cave paintings to anime, we have come a long way, but even though developments in technology will be exponential, I believe we’ll fall short of the simple lifestyle that we used to live.

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