In Modern times, the meaning of cartoon has changed a lot from what it used to be in fine art of middle ages and renaissance period. In modern contexts, cartoon refers to a visual presentation that produces humor and satire. The word cartoon has originated from the Italian "cartone" and Dutch/Flemish word "karton", meaning strong, heavy paper board or dashboard.
Newspapers and magazines are the most popular media where the cartoons are shown. The modern cartoons are drawn as one drawing and are often supported by a caption written just beneath the cartoon or in a speech balloon. These cartoons are mostly called gag cartoons. Peter Arno, renowned cartoonist of The New Yorker, is considered to be the father of gag cartoons. Some famous gag cartoonists include- Charles Addams, Gary Larson, Charles Barsotti, Chon Day and Mel Calman.
Editorial cartoons are an integral part of the newspapers and news magazines. The humor shown in these cartoons is of somber nature. Irony and satire are found in them as the essentials. Editorial cartoons or political cartoons give a commentary on the current political or social situations. Editorial cartoons are also shown with speech balloons or the rough caption written on the cartoon itself or beneath. Herblock, Mike Peters, David Low and Gerald Scarfe are most acclaimed political cartoonists.
Cartoons have made a permanent niche in electronic media too. Since kids like cartoons a lot, almost every entertainment channel show some cartoon programs. Above all, full time cartoon channels have been launched and they grab a significant share of the total television viewing. In electronic media these cartoons are called animations. People like Walt Disney, have created some cartoon characters that are the on the tip of the tongue of the individual, who once has been a kid. Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck etc. are the world famous and lovable cartoon characters.