May 5th

National Cartoonists Day -

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National Cartoonists Day, honored every year on the 5th of May, is a tribute to the gifted individuals who skillfully encapsulate our lives, feelings, and thoughts in a distinct, humorous and often ironic style. These artists charm us with their comic strips, animations, political cartoons, or graphic novels, expertly weaving art and narrative to not only amuse but also stimulate discussion and reflection.

On this day, we pay homage to the artistic brilliance and immense impact these individuals have in the realm of art, and on our society at large.

History of National Cartoonists Day

National Cartoonist Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of May. The occasion, established in 1999 by the National Cartoonist Society (NCS), serves as a platform to honor and celebrate the artistic genius of cartoonists.

The National Cartoonist Society traces back to March 1, 1946, when it was founded by a tight-knit group of artists who shared a deep admiration for comic artistry, including renowned figures like Rube Goldberg and Milton Caniff. The primary mission of the organization is to acknowledge remarkable achievements in the sphere of cartooning and promote cordiality through the interesting medium of cartoon arts.

The choice of May 5th for National Cartoonist Day is particularly significant as it marks the publishing date of the first-ever color cartoon named “The Yellow Kid”. This milestone event took place in the June 5th issue of the New York American’s Sunday edition in 1896. The work of Richard F. Outcault, the cartoon was the forerunner in creating serialized cartoon figures and had a significant influence on the evolution of newspaper comic strips in America.

Over the years, the National Cartoonist Society decided to involve the public in this unique celebration. With the commemoration of May 5th as National Cartoonist Day, the society extended an invitation to the wider public to recognize the entertainment value, political significance, and amusement that cartoons provide. Thus, for the past many years, this particular day has held a special importance for cartoonists, comic enthusiasts, followers of pop culture, and aficionados of this remarkable art form.

National Cartoonists Day Timeline

Origin of Comic Strips

Richard Felton Outcault's creation of the comic strip 'The Yellow Kid' in the New York World often credited as the first true comic strip.

Introduction of Animated Cartoons

French Charicaturist Émile Cohl produced the first animated film, 'Fantasmagorie.'

Mickey Mouse Creation

Walt Disney created the iconic character Mickey Mouse, which soon became a symbol of animated cartoons.

First Full Length Animated Movie

Walt Disney produced the first full-length animated movie, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'.

First Peanuts Comic Strip

Charles M. Schulz released the first 'Peanuts' comic strip featuring the beloved character Charlie Brown.

Introduction of The Simpsons

Matt Groening's 'The Simpsons' was first broadcast, becoming the longest-running cartoon series in history.

Inauguration of National Cartoonists Day

In celebration of the art of cartooning, cartoonists worldwide commemorate this day with exhibitions, workshops, and meet and greets.

Ideas to Celebrate National Cartoonists Day

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Host a Cartoon Drawing Workshop

Gather a group of cartoon enthusiasts and invite a local cartoonist to lead a hands-on drawing workshop. This shared experience not only honours cartoonists but also inspires new talents.

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Comic Strip Contest

Organize a comic strip contest where participants can create their own strips. Promote creativity and originality to exhibit artistic impressions.

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Cartoon Exhibitions

Arrange an exhibition featuring works from local or even famous cartoonists. Invite the cartoonists to interact with fans and discuss their work.

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Online Webinar by Renowned Cartoonist

If you can connect with a renowned cartoonist, host an online webinar where they can share their experience and knowledge of the industry.

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Cartoon Movie Marathon

Watch classic cartoons and animated movies back-to-back to celebrate the artists behind the creations and reminisce about the old days.

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Cartoon Trivia Night

Test your friends' knowledge of cartoons. Include questions about a wide range of cartoons, from classic to modern.

6 Interesting Facts About Cartoonists


First American Female Cartoonist

Rose O'Neill was the first American woman to work as a professional cartoonist. She is best known for creating the Kewpie doll, which inspired many products including dolls, dishware, and the decorations for the popular cupcake treat.


Origins of the Word 'Cartoon'

The term 'cartoon' originally comes from Italian 'cartone' and Dutch 'karton,' both meaning strong, heavy paper or pasteboard. These were the surfaces on which initial sketches were made before the final work was created on sturdier materials like canvas or board.


The 'God' of Manga and Anime

Famous Japanese cartoonist, Osamu Tezuka, often called the 'God of Manga' and the 'Godfather of Anime,' influenced a new style of manga after World War II. He crafted over 700 manga series, comprising approximately 170,000 pages, and was known for animation innovations.


Cartoonist and an Inventor

Rube Goldberg, a renowned cartoonist, was also known as an inventor besides being a Pulitzer-winning artist. He is famous for creating complex devices that perform simple tasks, now known as Rube Goldberg machines. An annual contest encourages participants to create such machines.


First Newspaper Comic Strip

The first newspaper comic strip published was 'The Yellow Kid' in 1895 in the U.S. Richard Felton Outcault, the cartoonist, is often credited as the creator of the modern comic strip.


Real Identity of Dr. Seuss

The famous cartoonist and illustrator, Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, used his middle name as his pen name, while the title 'Dr.' was a clever nod to his father's unfulfilled hopes that he would earn a doctorate at Oxford.

National Cartoonists Day FAQs

Next National Cartoonists Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 5th Friday
2024 May 5th Sunday
2025 May 5th Monday
2026 May 5th Tuesday
2027 May 5th Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every May 5th

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