5. What Do We Mean By Politics?


1. Politics Within the Comics Industry

cf. with Dance, 

2. Aristotelian Definition

3. Contemporary Conservatism and Liberalism

4. Comics as Propaganda

Sine the 1940s, comics have been used as a medium to direct the focus of the masses on issues of the day and to provoke a desired response. During World War II, for example, comics were used to invoke emotions of patriotism and support for the American war effort. These included characters urging readers to by war bonds, to watch what they say (“loose lips, sink ships type of thing) and to conserve needed resources. The heroes battle the Nazis and the Japanes, giving hope that we would do the same in our world. The message was, “the going is touch, but everyone’s effots will ensure victory.” And we did.

1950s saw comics dealing with the age of scientific imagination and coping with censorship.


Visionary Stan Lee, in another example, very astutely tackled the issues of the day that were confronting the nation in the 60s and 70s in the pages of his comics. His X-Men, his mutant population, dealt with racial bigotry, yet continued to take the high road. The Fantastic Four had oingoing family problems, but worked through them.

70s women taking more active role in comics 

80s comics turned darker and more violent

90s, etc NIHILISM in comics HERE

See existentialism in comics HERE


This trajectory is evident in Superman, who began as a kind of “super” boy scout, a cold war warrior, but more recently, in a increasingly conflicted more human character.


Comics convey “values” quckly, and fairly effecitively.


Are Comics “sexist”? On the one hand, of course, but perhaps the answer is more sophisticated. See Newsarama article HERE


At times, the attempt to inject politics into comics can be clumsy:

See article from Cracked HERE

And when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama appear in comics HERE

and HERE

Contrast images of Reagan, Nixon and Bush in comics.

© Hank Edmondson 2012