I think too often we're tempted to dismiss the power of humor, especially of cartoonists.
Sure, wars and fists and laws and cops have a big impact, but what those things do with stern-ness humor can often do too. Humor disarms us, and happily invites us to share a point of view and a punchline. Humor can even *gasp* unexpectedly affect things as serious as science.
Let's start with politics, and place it firmly in the distant past so that we don't offend anyone reading this journal today.
THOMAS NAST, in the mid- to late 1800s, was a well-known political cartoonist. After a lot of compelling work about slavery and the Civil War, he turned his attention to "Boss Tweed", the then-mayor of New York City and a thorough scoundrel. Tweed was at teh heart of a scandal in which police questioned what Tweed's group had done to make 200 MILLION dollars of taxpayers' money disappear-- and that was 1860s dollars!
For three years starting in 1968, Nast attacked Tweed in Harper's Weekly and The New