Christopher Buckley says in his wonderful introduction, "In the end, it's the New Yorker cartoonists, not the jabbering TV talking heads or pundits or spin doctors, who are the true gnostics of American politics, the keepers and tellers of its deepest truths." All that and they're funny, too! The New Yorker Book of Political Cartoons, Introduction by Christopher Buckley, Edited by Robert Mankoff, Bloomberg Press, 2000.
If it is true that the pen is mightier than the sword and that one picture is worth a thousand words, Thomas Nast must certainly rank as one of the most influential personalities in nineteenth century American history. His pen, dipped in satire, aroused an apathetic, disinterested, and uninformed public to indignation and action more than once. Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist by J. Chal Vinson, University of Georgia Press, 1967.