People often think of cartoons as being funny by default, which isn't always the case. There are serious cartoons, or cartoons drawn more realistically and meant to convey a message that isn't humorous. Creating a funny cartoon requires concentrating not on specific elements of the cartoon to bring out the humour. A lot of cartoons combine both visual and text elements to make them funny. Drawing funny cartoons is a fun way to work on your drawing skills, and if you're talented enough, might even lead to a career in comics or newspaper strips.
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Create a heading or a funny joke you can use to add humour to your cartoon. While the text element helps, it should only complete the joke. Many successful funny cartoons don't make sense when you read the caption first. Typically, only after looking at the action taking place in the cartoon drawing will the words make sense. For instance, a heading may say "Trail of Tears," which doesn't make sense out of context. A cartoon drawing of someone leaving the bathroom with a roll of toilet paper unravelling behind him puts a funny twist on the caption. Since what the reader sees should be the funny part of a humorous comic, don't rely on captions. The caption should only enhance the visual gag (joke).
Sketch the characters in your cartoon to make viewers laugh. Enhanced features, such as a big nose, extended chin, or close-set eyes with big pupils, can add an element of humour to your cartoons. Don't focus on the small details when you sketch a cartoon character. Put the emphasis on accentuating major features.
Create caricatures instead of characters. If you draw an office worker, for instance, think about characteristics associated with typical office workers. Maybe your office worker character is frazzled. Draw eyes that appear bloodshot, hair that goes off in several directions, and a cup of coffee in her hand, splashing all over as she tries to keep up with her daily workload. A caricature is an overblown representation of a particular character that uses hyperbole or satire to generate a laugh.
Draw three-panel strips to practice timing your humour. The first panel will be the set-up to the joke, the second will build, and the third panel will deliver the punchline. Sketch the content of each panel so that more of the characters are revealed in each panel, drawing the reader attention from left to right and subconsciously building the joke in their heads as they go.
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