David Claypoole Johnston (25 March 1799 – 8 November 1865) was a 19th-century American cartoonist, printmaker, painter, and actor from Boston, Massachusetts. He was the first natively trained American to master all the various graphic arts processes of lithography, etching, metal plate engraving, and wood engraving.
Johnston was born in Philadelphia, the son of William Johnston and Charlotte Rowson, an actress who was sister-in-law of author actress and educator Susanna Rowson. In 1815, Johnston had studied engraving as an apprentice of successful Philadelphia engraver Francis Kearney, and he himself became an engraver of original caricatures, which were too controversial for publishing. In 1821, he switched to a theatrical career, appearing for the first time at the Walnut Street Theatre on 10 March 1821, as Henry in "Speed the Plough". He performed for five seasons with theatre companies in Philadelphia and Boston.
Afterward, he retired from the stage and set up an engraver's office in Boston. His most important early work, was a series of etched and lithographed character portraits of well-known American and British actors. In the years between 1829 and 1849, he published nine numbers of his annual comic "Scraps," made of four plates, each containing nine or ten separate humorous sketches.