Drawn Commuters – Caricature as a visual historical resource


Despite of the fact that during the time of state socialism commuters meant a continuously growing social group both in proportion and in size, writing about their social history has been pushed into the background so far. The author’s aim is to fill this gap by trying to discover the most of the available sources of different genres. The present study shows part of this larger volume work, it shows what it can add to our knowledge about a social group through traditional sources if we include caricatures of a given social group as visual historical sources in the analysis.

In this paper, the author analyses sixteen caricatures of commuters, published in “Ludas Matyi,” comparing written and audio visual sources. In the study, she tries, among other things, to find out if there was a definite commuter picture of “Ludas Matyi”, and if so, to what extent did this commuter’s image differ from that of other products in the press? To what extent did the satirical portrayal of commuters refer to long-distance commuters and to what extent to daily commuters? Were the real anomalies of commuting in the era reflected in Ludas Matyi?

The analysis discusses the economic and social processes that characterize the time of publishing the caricatures, and denominates the external and internal characteristics and emotions commuters were endowed with.The aim of the author is to present the method of caricature analysis, which emphasizes the comparability of resources.