As one of the most simple, effective and powerful forms of communication, it comes as no surprise that comic art has been misappropriated by governments, self-interest groups, do-gooders and sinister organisations to spread their messages. World War Two comic book propaganda with Superman, Batman, and Captain America bashing up cartoon enemies was so ubiquitous that there was barely a US comic untainted by the war effort. And there is no shortage of examples from the other side of the globe. This book examines every kind of propaganda, and how positive or pernicious messages have been conveyed in the pages of comic books over the last 100 years. Subject areas include racism and xenophobia, antidrugs comics, pro-drugs comics and religious comics. Plus, there is a look at social programming; how gender roles were re-enforced in comic book stereotyping, and how comics broke free to produce a whole slew of gay superheroes, no matter how ham-fistedly written. This book is a fascinating global, visual history of some of the most contentious, outrageous, unbelievably unusual and politically charged comics ever published. Written by renowned comics historian and author, Fredrik Stromberg.
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Fredrik Stromberg is a journalist, author, and historian, who has studied comics since the early 1990s. He writes regularly for newspapers and magazines about comics, heads the Comic Art School of Sweden, and sits on the editorial board for the International Journal of Comic Art.From Booklist:
As comics gain widespread acceptance, we are finding new ways to look at them. This book focuses on comics as both negative and positive propaganda vehicles. Lavishly illustrated, the discussion is served up in bite-size sections on racial stereotypes and images of war, communism, crime, religion, sexuality, and politics. Although Stromberg tries to present both sides of many propaganda-laden issues in comics, and for the most part succeeds, some topics (such as the negative aspects of war, the positives of communism, or the dangers of the Patriot Act) have few examples. He isn’t afraid to include some big-time comics in his discussion, dissecting the racism in Hergés Tintin stories and noting the simplicity of the mouse and cat images in Maus (1986). Mostly, though, the observations are simplistic and rely on the accompanying images to drive the message home, perhaps making the book’s most critical point: because of the immediacy of the visuals, the comics format is more handily used for propaganda than prose is, and it can be bent to serve any ideology. --Stephen Weiner
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Book Description Ilex, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111905814704