A study of the international political events and commentary in selected American comic strips from 1940-1970

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dc.contributor.advisor White, Ray (Raymond E.) en_US
dc.contributor.author Smith, Rodney Dale en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:31:15Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:31:15Z
dc.date.created 1979 en_US
dc.date.issued 1979
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1979 .S65 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/180897
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study is to analyze the international political events and commentary presented in five comic strips from 1940 to 1970. The investigation focused on the narratives, individual episodes and characterizations presented in the strips. The research was taken from approximately 51,000 strips over the thirty year period. Four of the strips used in the study covered the entire period, and included: Li'l Abner - Al Capp, Little Orphan Annie - Harold Gray, Smilin' Jack - Zack Mosley, and Terr and the Pirates - Milton Caniff (1940-47) and George Wunder (1947-1970). One strip, Pogo, drawn by Walt Kelly, was available only from 1950-70.The three decade period was utilized in order to study a sufficient number of strips so the cartoonists' ideas and attitudes could be understood. The time period selected was a volatile period in international affairs in which the United States played a major role. The investigation concentrates on two major areas of international politics: World War II and the cold war era. The study reveals that the cartoonists in portraying these two major found events used their medium not only for entertainment but to support the United States in its international activities.In addition they used international political affairs and events as sources of information to draw action stories and make political statements. In this vein, World War II offered a great opportunity for the cartoonists. The narratives presented in the strips offered constant reminders of the war in Europe and Asia, and engendered American support for the war effort. The authors pushed American values and democratic principles while formulating a negative image of the Axis leaders and military. In this way, the cartoonists used their medium to propagandize their readers into full support for the war.During the cold war era, the cartoonists again in international affairs a rich source of information for their stories. The strips portrayed the intense rivalry of the cold war conflict initially focusing on the Soviet Union. Narratives were included which depicted the Soviet leaders negatively, especially Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The Russian people, Soviet life and Communism in general were also represented in the strips in a disreputable fashion. In addition, the vigorous competition of the arms and space races were depicted in the strips.The other major nation of the cold war, which the cartoonists characterized in their strips, was China. The authors wrote stories about the civil war in China and obviously supported the Nationalists. After the Nationalists were exiled to Formosa, the narratives focused on the People's Republic of China. The stories depicted the Chinese Communists' methods of governing and their leadership, especially Mao Tse-tung. The propaganda efforts of the Chinese Communists were frequently represented in the strips as well as the attempts to expand their influence in the Pacific area. In addition, the Sino-Soviet split was included, with the cartoonists' portraying the Chinese attempting to take over the leadership of the Communist world from the Soviets.The cartoonists also used their strips to convey information, ideas, and opinions about the third world areas of Vietnam, Latin America and the Middle East. With Vietnam, the stories centered on the war, while the authors represented the Vietcong and North Vietnamese as evil and detestable people. The influence of the Vietnamese war on the American political scene was also considered. In their narratives about Latin America, the cartoonists illustrated the area in terms of revolution, corruption and smuggling. Communism and Fidel Castro's Cuba were frequently used in the strips. Communism and oil were the two major themes the cartoonists used in the strips that dealt with the Middle East.This study presents a narrative of the strips with an analysis of the cartoonists' aims, objectives, and opinions. The work also contains an annotated bibliography. en_US
dc.format.extent 5, iii, 239 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Comic books, strips, etc. -- Themes, motives. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh World politics -- 1945-1989. en_US
dc.title A study of the international political events and commentary in selected American comic strips from 1940-1970 en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/264162 en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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