Editorial Cartoon vs. Rough Sketch
Pique a place to begin.
Charlie Hebdo meant to disrupt and paid dearly. That is what every editorial cartoonist wants, well, not so much death as to disrupt. I’m a fan of Steve Sack at the StarTribune, who every day tips some social issue on its ear.
The contribution of the editorial cartoonist is to change the status quo conversation by putting forward an opinion in whatever outrageous way that gets attention and is instantly understandable. Most of their work is an image that evokes a passionate response. The editorial cartoon is typically polarizing, immediately dividing those in violent disagreement from this in violent agreement.
In contrast, the rough sketch is presented to people who are already with us. They may not agree with our nuanced vision of a project, but they at least have the project on their radar.
We use the rough sketch to present our vision for the project, to show more precisely what we mean and to invite discussion. The whole undone sketchy ethos of it can accomplish all those things.
Sometimes we need a rough sketch to present our idea in the easiest possible way—so our friend or client cannot misunderstand us. And sometimes we need to disrupt a status quo conversation and risk passionate ire.
Image credit: Steve Sack, StarTribune
Dumb sketch: Kirk Livingston