Censorship in comics?

I think this article is very pertinent to our discussion of comics. It discusses censorship in comics in the mid-20th century in a very balanced way. One possible criticism of it is that it doesn’t separate the medium/grammar of comics from the content of comics. Anyway money quote:

In the two years after Wertham’s book came out, more than a dozen publishers and hundreds of cartoonists left the field. Those publishers that remained were severely restricted by a self-imposed code that prevented comics from publishing anything but the most anodyne kiddies’ fare. Only with the rise of graphic novels in the last few years have comics recovered from the stigma of the Wertham years. For Hajdu, the comic-book crackdown was a “purge,” a precursor to later panics over rock music and video games.

Uncategorized George Altshuler 06 Apr 2008 No Comments

On the subject of robots…

Alright, so my titles need work. But this is a webcomic that I read, which I’m pretty sure no one else does. Thus I shall enlighten you as you have enlightened me. Most of them are single panels or short multipanel comics, with continuity stemming from the Transformers franchise. It’s a commentary on the whole picture, from Generation 1 to the fandom to mistakes Michael Bay hasn’t even made yet. The latest edition is of the latter category, and it updates every Monday.

Matt Moylan’s Lilformers

General Geekery &Taste of the Internet &Uncategorized Laria Hambleton 04 Mar 2008 No Comments

Follow up on class: The limitations of the content of comics because of technology

I just wanted to follow up on the point I was trying to make in class yesterday: I still think there are limitations on the content of comics that come as a result of technology, not institutions or culture. More specifically, I think that comics cannot express certain abstract ideas that regular prose can express. Or at the very least, it would be cumbersome for comics to do so.

I think of the political science reading I am doing now on what causes transitions to democracy. It may be possible to discuss this with a narrator in comics (sort of in the way that McCloud does in his piece) but the concepts surrounding transitions to democracy are fundamentally abstract. Comics are rooted in pictorial representation, not text. As McCould defines it, comics are “the juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” (page 9)

So if you wanted to make a comic about the theory of transition to democracy you could maybe do it, but it would be very texty and would move away from McCloud’s definition of comics.

This all being said, I don’t want to sound like I’m hating on comics. McCould’s piece is a brilliant example of how comics can make arguments and convey ideas in a way that transcends text. But once again, McCould is analyzing comics: a visual medium.


Uncategorized George Altshuler 27 Feb 2008 No Comments

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