EN 3177 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Moral Panic, Blooper, Action Comics

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9 Feb 2016
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EN 3177 Comics and Cartoons
Lecture 1
The course will explore specically American comics
They have been around since the 1890s mostly in newspapers
Most comics now our slapstick humor and gag reels; before they
were more stylistically innovative
One of the most important comics of the early times was
Superman in Action Comics
The Superhero form was really popular which boosted the
popularity of comics and cartoons in general
oThe rst genre was created in comic book form which
compared to newspapers was much shorter
oIn this form there were longer sequences and more color
Eventually comics get the name Graphic Novel as their new
genre even though they are not super long
Comics were very successful in World War II because of world war
propaganda (eg. Captain America and Wonder Woman)
oAfter the war superheroes declined and crime/horror
comics became more popular
oThis is a result of lost villains such as Hitler and the
Japanese
oThings became more complicated after work
oPeople had to look inward until the Cold War when they
could manufacture an enemy again
oUntil then character villains including gangsters and
monsters
oThis led to a moral panic about comics during the 1960s
which resulted in a comic book seal of approval
The open-ended net between the artistic panels were very
threatening to society (this was one of comic’s greatest
strengths)
Unfortunately many had the idea that there was a connection
between comics and juvenile delinquency
The seal made sure that comics were wholesome, moral, and
appropriate for young children (they had to be entertaining and
educational; if they were produced it was in states)
There could be no sexual perversion, homosexuality, sex before
marriage, mention of drugs and alcohol, or disrespect to
authority
Children were the main targets of the 1950s comics
Interestingly the media was never only geared towards students
and youth
The seal was very limiting
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