It could depend in both cases.
Yes, realism takes a lot more skill at actually drawing compared to cartoons, but it does not take as much creativity and ability. Although, with realism it is more of copying down directly from what you are looking whereas with cartoons a unique style can be developed. So with realism, it is harder to have a unique style compared to that of a cartoon.
Cartoons do take some skill to draw. There is talent involved. I for myself love drawing things such as manga and find that skill is definitely involved. Then I turn to drawing realism and it takes a lot more time, is harder, and so I would infer that realism is harder. Cartoons though, take time and effort as well. Should it be funny? What is the setup? How do I simplistically draw someone just enough so that their attributes are noted?
All in all, I would say that a realistic artist is better than a cartoonist in some ways, and vice versa. It just depends on how you look at it.
Really when it comes to art, it is very hard to say that one style is better than another. Many of those who do comics and abstract art have studied realism and anatomy and are quite talented. However, one would have to say that the realism begins the artistic endeavor.
I don't know who's better, maybe it's cartoonist, maybe it's realist.
But I do know that realist is harder, because they are trying to copy something.
A cartoonist shapes it themselves. Or at least a little more that realist drawings.
Cartoonist has a sort of creativity to them, and realist has a sort of truth to them.
Personally, it depends.
In my opinion, realistic artists are better. The reason being is realistic artist have to look at things from every perspective and catch every detail. It's more based on the world then cartoons. Cartoons are only of the imagination. Things you will never see roaming around. It's crazy and will only be seen on paper.
I think so because i am a an artist my self and i think its a lot harder to draw a human face directly from a photo than it is to draw a cartoon character directly from a photo. Cartoons don't need shadows to make them look real but people do when it comes to drawing.
Both artists are artists. They are each good for themselves. Some aspects of realistic art is a lot harder than that of cartoonists. However the opposite also holds true. Its as if you were to compare a film camera to a digital camera. Film has its benefits as does digital. Bottom line they are both art and have their own personality. Realism is extremely hard to achieve but so is also coming up with the creativity for a 100% original cartoon that successfully conveys a message. Realism might be harder but I don't think it makes someone a better artist than someone who practices a totally different genera of art.
Although both can be extremely talented the ability to create something from nothing is an artists job. It's about the idea, and realism is just a copy, technically realism is extremely difficult but it can't progress after a certain point. Many extremely talented artist were able to draw hyper-realistically but chose not to because of its lack of challenge. Michel Angelo is a prime example if you could point out one figure that is proportioned realistically I would be astounded,and yet he was renowned for his work. Similarly Picasso was able to draw realistically but chose to express himself in an original (you could argue) way. Not to say that those cartoonists who copy are amazing as they again don't have an original idea. Another reason would be that many artists take realistic techniques and apply them to their drawings; one person argued that shading was needed for realism but not for cartoonist but again that depends on the level and style of the artist and not the difficulty between realism and cartoonists.
Realistic artist show no creativity in their paintings/artwork, as the artist only tries to achieve a sense of realism. Whereas, a cartoonist involve creativity in their artworks, and a comical theme. In modern society, these factors provided by a cartoonist had greater value over a realistic artist. Moreover, facets such as creativity and comedy are more wide possessed by people than skill to draw realistically.