This is not a law-related post, except to the extent that it involves copyright or the right of publicity. The point of the post is simply an observation that political cartoons have always been a powerful way to influence the public's perception of political figures, but that for most of history political cartooning has required not only someone capable of making sharp political observations but someone who also possesses the relatively rare artistic ability to render a good likeness. (Unless of course you are a Gary Trudeau and have a comic strip with a strong narrative to rely on.) No more. Today, all you have to do is master software for manipulating visual images and you can be in the political cartooning business. You don't need to catch Michael Dukakis looking small in outsized military headgear, you can dress him up however you want to suggest a damaging viewpoint and fuel latent or emerging perceptions. And you don't need the newspapers or posters any more to disseminate the image. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are making regular meals of this technique, and their work lives on not only on their websites and in YouTube but also in screenshot captures spread through Facebook and other social media. It seems to me that we're just in the early stages of this transformation.