As known, cartoon is mostly associated with literal arts like irony, humor and satire, however I think cartoon has an attitude itself and thus, the relationship of it with philosophy is clear. Because the freedom of comment in a cartoon (this is also expressing the thought)has always impressed me. Besides, being mostly without words, perhaps mostly in a five or six centimeter squared area. The atmosphere created by what is going on in that area, sometimes being exaggerated, creates a different kind of laughing by emphasizing, warning and waking the person. I have to add immediately that I say exaggerated atmosphere but at the same time this exaggeration has elegance and this is the source of making someone laugh by making him think.
Cartoon is a different, a special way of communication. No cartoon can close in itself. Some art forms tell much in themselves by closing in them. In order to analyse these, one has to use sciences, apply their methods and analyse by doing these. This, of course, is a nice investigation, one has to be objective. But cartoon speaks to you, tries to draw your attention, shouts like I invite you to think. In cartoon, there is communication with the other. World cultural heritage is so rich about this subject. Every country has famous cartoon magazines that are followed by many. I lived this in our country with Akbaba and Gırgır but as a richness. I mean increasing richness in thought and laughing.
One can not laugh without thinking of course. But that simple lines turn into thought in cartoons. Line both thinks and makes you think. Because the language of lines is different from the language we speak. When we start to think with lines, our horizon of thought can move even beyond the language we speak, as cartoon preferred to tell from the short way. A thinker whose name I can’t remember said “a true cartoon can only be expressed by a cartoon” and he is right. I wonder if the cartoonists see the life as a cartoon?
It is not easy to understand every joke in the cartoon, let’s say we couldn’t understand, then we become funny. So someone is funny when he couldn’t understand the joke. Not being able to understand the joke is the proof of how subtle the satire is in a cartoon. Maybe it is also the proof of “subtle thought”.
Afşar Timuçin says, “laughing is looking at the world with wise, understanding, comparing, questioning eyes”. In fact the laughing moment that is created by the cartoon is the moment identified with thinking. The timing about this subject is very interesting and caused different sayings in world cultures. As soon as you understand the meaning in a cartoon, it is followed by laughing. This is a different, esthetic atmosphere, a special joy created from the relation between the cartoon and us. It is a thought that unites with joy. Cartoon is the laughing thought. They say laughing makes one live longer. Laughing suits you well…
Prof. Dr. BAHADIR GÜLMEZ