Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History
 
 


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Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History [Paperback]

Fredrik Stromberg , Peter Kuper
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 20, 2010
As one of the most 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 organizations to spread their message.  World War II comic book propaganda-with Superman, Batman, and Captain America raising war bonds, and bashing cartoon Japanese and Germans-was so ubiquitous that there was barely a US comic untainted by the war effort.  The sub-textual sequential art continued well into the Ciold War, with both sides producing comics extolling themselves and defaming the enemy.   This book is a fascinating visual history of some of the most outrageous, and unbelievable and politically charged comics ever published. 

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Editorial Reviews

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

About the Author

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. 

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312596790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312596798
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,867,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Print is Too Small September 20, 2010
Format:Paperback
Even though I just had a complete eye exam and had my prescription verified as 20/20, I still couldn't see much of the material in this book. Many of the reproductions are crammed in and printed in very small detail--which means that you really can't get the full enjoyment that you have a right to expect. Even with a pretty good magnifying glass (which was an annoyance to have to use), a lot of the written dialogue was indecipherable. A very good concept but not well-executed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but skewed December 28, 2010
Format:Paperback
This volume includes some excellent illustrations and some good narration of the material. However, it focuses largely on domestic issues (gay rights, labor unions, etc.) and not what most people think of when they hear the word "propaganda." I'm glad about one thing though: it let me know about a comic called "Reagan's Raiders!" I'll have to get a copy on Ebay!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda is in the eye of the beholder. November 3, 2012
Format:Paperback
Here we have a look at "propaganda" in comic books. An interesting topic, but the book could have been a lot better. Each subject is given just one page of text and one page of comic book reproductions. That doesn't allow for a lot of depth. Plus, some of the comics are reproduced too small to be readable, as other people have mentioned. A decent book, but could have been a whole lot more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Comic Art Propaganda December 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was nothing what I expected. The printing was extremely small as was the graphics. The narrative was definitely not as the front cover suggests.
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More About the Author

Fredrik Strömberg started his professional career as a freelance journalist in 1994, and he has since then written for a large number of publications including the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, the Danish Strip! the Dutch Stripschrift and the American International Journal of Comic Art.

Strömberg has been the chairman of the Swedish Comics Association) since 1997, and is one of the editors of the magazine Bild & Bubbla and a member of the Urhunden jury. He was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Comic Art Centre in Malmö and the Swedish Comics Archive in Lund.

In 1999, Strömberg made his debut as an author with the book 100 oumbärliga seriealbum (100 Indispensable Comic Books), and has since written several books, published in Swedish and English. The book Black Images in the Comics: A Visual History, published by Fantagraphics Books in the US, was nominated for an Eisner Award.

Since 1999 Strömberg has been one of the headmasters for the Comics Art School of Malmö, a school which has trained comics artists like Niklas Asker (Second Thoughts) and Mathias Elftorp (Piracy is LIberation).

Strömberg is the Swedish representative on the International Editorial Board for the International Journal of Comic Art and also the Swedish representative on the Consultative Committee of European Comic Art.

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