Comic Strip / Comics

What Is the Difference Between a Cartoon and a Comic Strip?

Are you a fan of cartoons and comic strips? Do you often wonder about the difference between the two?

While both these mediums are entertaining and visually appealing, they have distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the differences between cartoons and comic strips.


Definition: A cartoon is a humorous or satirical drawing that usually consists of a single panel.

Characteristics: Cartoons are typically meant to be funny and light-hearted. They often feature exaggerated characters and situations that are meant to be comical. Cartoons can be found in newspapers, magazines, books, and on television.

Examples: Some popular cartoons include The Far Side by Gary Larson, Garfield by Jim Davis, and Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

Comic Strips

Definition: A comic strip is a series of drawings that tell a story.

Characteristics: Comic strips are usually longer than cartoons and consist of multiple panels. They often feature ongoing storylines with recurring characters. Comic strips can be found in newspapers, books, and online.

Examples: Some popular comic strips include Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, Dilbert by Scott Adams, and The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman.

Differences between Cartoons and Comic Strips

While both cartoons and comic strips use visuals to tell a story or convey a message, there are some key differences between the two:

  • Panels:
    • A cartoon usually consists of one panel while a comic strip has multiple panels.
  • Narrative Structure:
    • A cartoon does not tell a story, it is usually just a single joke or idea. A comic strip, on the other hand, tells a story that can span multiple panels and even multiple days.
  • Characters:
    • Cartoons usually feature exaggerated characters that are not recurring. Comic strips often feature recurring characters that develop over time.
  • Length:
    • Cartoons are usually short and to the point while comic strips can be longer and more detailed.

In conclusion, while cartoons and comic strips both use visuals to entertain and convey a message, they have distinct differences in terms of structure, length, and character development. Whether you prefer the quick laugh of a cartoon or the ongoing storylines of a comic strip, both these mediums have their own unique appeal.