Cartouche, ancient Egyptian for "cartoon," is an oval comic strip panel that came into use during ancient Egypt's Fourth Dynasty, under the rule of Pharaoh Sneferu.
Most cartouches are displayed horizontally on the stone tablets in which they were engraved. (Paper, other than papyrus, did not exist at the time, because ancient Egyptians were a "primitive society" without sophisticated technology and were too stupid to convert trees into paper.) However, cartouches could also be positioned vertically, if need be.
The position of the cartouches was determined by the scenes they depicted. Vagina or anal intercourse, for example, was usually displayed in a horizontal cartouche, whereas fellatio was often depicted in vertical cartouches.
Cartouches, cut from the stone that bore them, were also sometimes worn as necklaces, but only by pharaohs. Their use as jewelry is believed to have signified their wearer's sexual prowess, and, for that reason, became a sign of good luck, as the pharaoh was said to have gotten "lucky" in having had sex with a woman, often his sister or a temple prostitute. A cartouche cut in half signified coitus interruptus.
Not counting the cartouches depicting scenes with prostitutes, Pharaoh Sneferu wore thirteen, each of which represented one of the unions with his sister-wife, Hetepheres I: his eight sons Phukyu, Anylbornn, Kanedazz, Preferdmate I, Nuttsack, VavaVoom, Randii I, Iynhimm, and his five daughters: Heteosecskhyual A, Nefertakn I, Nefersayzno, Herpes I, and Heifer.
Pharaoh Sneferu built a lot of pyramids and had foreign relations with the queens of Libya and Nubia. He also enlarged his contingent of sex slaves by capturing enemies' sons and daughters.
He considered introducing a diagonal cartouche to depict his same-sex sexual exploits, but Hetepheres I dissuaded him, suggesting such depictions might be sen as "unseemly" by the jackal -god Anubis, who would weigh Sneferu's heart, after his demise, to determine whether he was worthy of being serviced in the afterlife.