A "cult figure" is a person whose image has become a symbol which transcends the meaning of the original image. The best way to describe them is as an "in joke" taken way too far. Every year the cult figure selection committee would choose a person to become the Cult Figure of the Year. Then, we would make a bunch of stuff with this person's face on it. Usually the person is selected because of the comical expression on his or her face, not because we have anything against them. Readers are asked to send in their own interpretation of the cult figure as well. Cult figures are usually just ordinary people who are not famous in any way (until we make them temporarily famous).