Political cartoons were common during World War I and World War II, mainly as propaganda for various countries' war efforts.
In the US and Great Britain, anti-Japanese and -German works were common, while in those countries, the opposite was so.
Although their style, technique or viewpoints may differ, editorial cartoonists draw attention to important social and political issues.
Although most western editorial cartoonists by necessity occupy the middle political ground, this is by no means true of all cartoonists and there is a spectrum of political commentary in cartoons which runs from the extreme right through the centre to the extreme left.
Editorial cartoons can usually be found on the editorial page of most newspapers, although a few, like Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury are sometimes found on the regular comics page.
Recently, many radical or minority issue editorial cartoonists who would previously have been obscure have found large audiences on the internet.
In 1799, Francisco Goya created a series of etchings called los Caprichos intended to make political statements about the issues of the day, related to his later series depicting the disasters of war.
Both made humorous comment on the trends and current events of his time.
Editorial cartoons can be very diverse, but there is a certain established style among most of them.
Most use visual metaphors and caricatures to explain complicated political situations, and thus sum up a current event with a humorous or emotional picture.