Karl Wimer Sketches Out Interesting, Informative Cartoons

Editorial cartoonist familiarizes students with industry, process

March 2, 2022

Karl Wimer gave a well rounded presentation on his job as a cartoonist, revolving around the process, his materials and examples of other cartoons.

As I walked in, the environment was welcoming. Wimer was using both the whiteboard and smartboard and explaining the thought process behind his craft. What really interested me was how much he talked about his specific process, going so far to talk about his tools, and the differences between digital and physical drawings.

Next, he moved on to styles of cartoons. To fully understand the art of being an editorial cartoonist requires examples, and Wimer delivered. He did an excellent job showing political cartoons that represented various political ideologies done by several different cartoonists. Afterwards, he covered the demographics of the cartoonist world. Despite being a male-dominated field, he made sure to show examples of female and feminist cartoonists. 

 I found these editorial cartoons interesting, and appreciated the way their messages were communicated. Unfortunately, in total the time he spent showing examples was a little longer than I would’ve liked.

My favorite part of his LitFest presentation was how interactive it was. About halfway through the class, Wimer passed out pens, pencils and paper to the students. He showed all the students the basic shapes of the face: circles, triangles and squares. Next came the basic face shape. It was a circle with guidelines and a wedge for the chin slightly under. Wimer detailed his process thoroughly, showing different examples of these faces, how he achieved them, and making the faces either feminine or more masculine. He explained his process with easy to follow instructions. 

After that, he returned to the smart-board, where he explained the significance of cartoons and illustrators. Back in the 1700s and 1800s, when cartoons were introduced, they were used to aid those who were illiterate and could not read the newspaper. I enjoyed the incorporation of history into his presentation, because it provided a more fuller understanding of the craft and its start.

Next, Wimer promoted accountability in news. He believed that outlets publish whatever they want nowadays. In light of this, it seemed like good advice that Wimer encouraged learning about all sides of issues, and the idea that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”

I found Wimer to be an encouraging person, inspiring students to go out and seek a career in the arts and illustration. He sent students off with a print of a playing card he had designed, and a fact sheet. On the fact sheet, he mentioned places to find inspiration for cartoons, and other excellent cartoonists and illustrators.

Despite me not being initially excited over this subject, Wimer left me with an interactive and informative performance, and I hope to see him again at another LitFest.

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