An attempt to define visual culture is a reflection of everyday attitudes, behaviors, ideas ND mannerisms on works of art rather than Its aesthetic value. A cartoon Is described in the oxford dictionary as “a simplified or exaggerated version or interpretation of something”. When we think about cartoons in the modern day we think about fun, Innocent, brightly colored animation or children’s books and television shows as typical cartoons. Adult cartoons such as family guy, South Park and American dad are considered as inappropriate because they differ from the typical forms of cartoons.
They contain very adult themes such as sex, violence, schism, death, explicit language and drugs but yet visually they seem very innocent and easy enough for children to watch. Adult cartoons differ from the conventional cartoons seen on children’s television channels they normally come on later In the night to be viewed by an adult audience. Adult cartoons are still seen as unconventional and different but as we take a trip back through time we will see that until the birth of animation cartoons have been aimed at adults for a very long time and have played a big part in human visual culture over hundreds of thousands of years.
Every art piece tells a story. Usual culture Is the understanding of the world through an image or piece of art. Cartoons can be seen as forms of modernist and postmodern art, telling their own stories using various types of art forms such as comics, animations, caricatures etc. Cartoons have been around since 40,000 BC where ancient mankind drew some of the very first character art on the walls of their caves, theses were very basic and told stories of various activities such as hunting, fishing and animals grazing.
These were used as a way of communicating with each other and also as entertainment so they were more likely aimed at the adult population. This played a vital part in the visual culture back than and marked the birth of adult cartoons. The ancient Egyptians also used cartoons as early as 1300 BC; they were used to decorate pyramids, buildings and other objects and told stories of day to day activities. One, for example, describes the daily trials and tribulations that farmers would go through. At the end of the mural, the farmer Is beaten to death by one of the pharaohs tax collectors.
It is during this beating that the farmer exclaims, “l hate Mondays! “. M. Elizabeth Prior, (October 30, 2004). THE EVOLUTION OF till found in adult cartoons today. Around 4,000 BC in ancient Greece cartoons were created using mosaics which told stories of their Gods, heroes and famous battles which is similar to some of the cartoons and shows we watch in today’s society. These cartoons showed nudity, violence, sex and death but yet they were placed on everyday objects such as pottery and in buildings for everyone to see.
This style of storytelling was important in ancient Greece and Egypt because not everybody could read and write but this made it easy for the people to understand stories and events without having to read. These cartoons were aimed more at adults rather than children and played a big part in the visual culture in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. In the 19th century cartoons were used in newspapers, posters and comic strips. They usually had political and social undertones; they were witty, clever and contained satirical humor.
A good example of this was the punch magazine in Britain. Punch magazine ran for over 160 years with the first edition published on July 17 the 1841. It tackled issues in Britain such as exploitation of workers, the economy, immigration, peace and parliament. ‘Paunch’s opinions and castrating changed according to general public feeling and was popular because it was in touch with the times. It didn’t aim to be revolutionary, but as it was tied up with politics, it offered a critique where it felt necessary. ‘ Skibobs Mclean (Victorian Visual Culture).
This style of cartoons carried on for a long time. During times of the first and Second World War cartoons all over the world were used in propaganda. Some were used to patronize people to Join the war effort or raise morale and some others condemned the wars all together. This style of Adult cartoon played a vital part in visual culture room the 19th century and parts of the 20th century. When we look through history we can see that cartoons have been mainly affiliated with adults because of all the adult themes and issues they showed from 40,000 BC to the early 20th century.
About a hundred years ago cartoons being mainly for children was a very strange concept whilst in today’s society cartoons are the main source of entertainment for children. This all started with the introduction of animation and television. ‘Animated cartoons are the latest of the cartoon form. They can be done by both hand and by computer and appeal to children as well as to adults. The main characteristic of animated cartoons that differentiates them from the other types is that animated cartoons also involve the medium of movement’ (McCollum, 1994).
Influential people such as Walt Disney, the Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barber played a big part in cartoons in the sass’s. Characters such as Mimic mouse, Donald duck, Bugs bunny and Daffy Duck were shown on television screens in many homes. These characters and their crazy persona caught the eyes of many children and as they had very little dialogue and simple plots and storyline they were easy enough for children to watch. These Cartoonists created cartoons that shaped what was known as ‘Saturday morning cartoons’.
There were also a lot of governing bodies such as the Hayes code (1930 to 1968) which kept cartoons innocent and ensured that adult themes were kept out of cartoons, epically those appearing on television, this brought about a decline in adults watching cartoons as most cartoons at the time were too simple minded and not complex enough for adults. However the comic book sass’s Hanna-Barber created cartoons such as Scabby do, the Flintiness and the Stetsons. These cartoons had more dialogue than the average cartoons, contained ore clever and witty Jokes and were well suited for an adult as well as a younger audience.
They focused on the average family and showed some of the issues faced in family life. Some argue that the Flintiness was the first mainstream adult cartoon to goon air. ‘The Flintiness was originally aimed at an adult audience and the first two seasons were co-sponsored by Winston cigarettes’. Hide Blake (2010). The Flintiness’ 50th anniversary. The late ass’s and ass’s gave birth to some of the first and most successful and well known adult cartoons today such as The Simpson (1989), South Park (1997) and Family Guy (1999).
The Simpson was rated as the first most popular adult cartoon whilst South Park was second and family guy third. Top 10: Adult Cartoons. [Kewaskum. Com] The Simpson is well known in every household and is the most successful and longest running modern adult animation on television, it is a billion-dollar merchandising and media franchise. The Simpson and family guy are witty and quite similar in the themes they portray, for example their main characters Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin portray the average working class man.
They are crude, overweight, incompetent, clumsy, thoughtless and a borderline alcoholic. They are constantly saved by their wives from making stupid decisions which shows that the modern man may think he is the head of the family but is nothing without his wife. Both Louis Griffin and Marge Simpson are both very patient putting up with their incompetent husbands, this is a trait seen in many women who put up with their husbands despite the unwise decision they may make. South park is however different from the other two but yet very successful worth over 300 million dollars.
South Park satirized a lot of social and political issues like many other adult cartoons but unlike the others it is extremely vulgar, contains dark humor and explicitly mocks and ridicules people in the real world. South park mainly tells a through the eyes of four ten year old boys, Stan Marsh, Kyle Professors, Eric Caravan and Kenny McCormick. The four main character show how messed up our modern world is. Eric Caravan is a loud, selfish, obnoxious, manipulative, racist, anti-Semitic and obese boy who is friends with a Jewish boy named Kyle Professors. Caravan has an undying dislike for Kyle purely because he is
Jewish which bring back the fact that anti-Semitism is still very real and serious I issue in everyday America. Stan Marsh is an average American boy and often the voice of reasoning in the group. Whilst Kenny is from a very poor family, he covers his face with a hood which makes his speech muffled. Jenny’s poor background makes his opinions the least heard in the group and he always seems to die and nobody cares, he is also the only one of the four boys to get addicted to drugs in an episode. Jenny’s character is a representation of all the poor people in America.
The sys are only ten years of age, however they constantly save the day and serve as a voice of reasoning to the town. This mocks today’s society telling us that we adults are so obsessed with irrelevant things, incredibly gullible, easily manipulated by the media and irrational. ‘The boys are also frequently confused by the contradictory and hypocritical behavior of their parents and other adults, and often perceive them as having distorted views on morality and society Randy Fallows Unary 2002). “The 23/5/2013. South Park shows us that in today’s society young children understand much more than we give them credit for.
Most of the kids in South Park use profanity. South Park has tackled multiple social issues such as: abortion, pop culture, drugs, homosexuality, religion and many others many other explicit themes such as prostitution, stem cell research, sex change, hippies, homelessness and proper condom use. South Park contains by far the strongest adult themes out of the other popular adult cartoons. South Park and many other adult cartoons are becoming more and more popular, with a lot of merchandising, characters in adult cartoons are seen on everyday objects, such as stationeries, clothes, bags, shoes, etc.
Because of the cartoons animated style of adult cartoons a lot of the merchandise are love by young children. I even remember having a Bart Simpson pencil case in primary school with words saying “l could have been president but I’m Just too real” This has created pressing issues, children flicking through the channels looking for something to watch could easily stumble on an adult cartoon such as South Park and because of the cartoons nature of these shows they may find it easy to watch there for picking up strong language and other adult themes found in adult cartoons.
Parents may not also suspect their young children of watching anything wrong if the see them watching a cartoon, whilst they could be watching an adult cartoon which is polluting their minds. Whilst some people argue that adult cartoons are wrong and should be stopped for the sake of our children others may argue that cartoons have been a big part of adult visual culture throughout history. Cartoons started out hundreds of thousands of years ago as being for adults and should carry on being for adults.
Visual culture can be described as a reflection of our society through art, if cartoons re having more adult themes in them that that probably Just means that children are growing up much faster that they were a couple hundred years ago, which means they are smarter and more capable of understanding more complex thinking at a younger age. Even every day children cartoons such as Sponge bob have more and more adult Jokes and themes in them.