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THE 10 CENT WAR: Comic Books, Propaganda, and World War II

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THE 10 CENT WAR: Comic Books, Propaganda, and World War II

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Recommended. Edited by Trischa Goodnow and James J. Kimble. How different types of comic books and characters supplied reasons and means to support the war effort. The contributors demonstrate that, free of government control, how effective these appeals were, while often racist and extreme. The book discusses the role of such major characters as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Uncle Sam along with a host of such minor characters as kid gangs and superhero sidekicks. It even considers novelty and small presses, providing a well-rounded look at the many ways that comic books served as popular propaganda.

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How different types of comic books and characters supplied reasons and means to support the war effort. The contributors demonstrate that, free of government control, how effective these appeals were, while often racist and extreme. The book discusses the role of such major characters as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Uncle Sam along with a host of such minor characters as kid gangs and superhero sidekicks. It even considers novelty and small presses, providing a well-rounded look at the many ways that comic books served as popular propaganda.

Chapters include Hey Soldier! Your Slip is Showing!, Flying Tigers and Chinese Sidekicks, Boys on the Battlefield: Kid Combatants, The Boy Commandos, Uncle Sam Wants You, Superman as Allegory, Racial Stereotypes and War Propaganda in Captain America, Tell the Whole Truth: Feminist Exception in Wonder Woman, Debunking Hitler: True Comics as Counter-Propaganda, Novelty Press Mobilizes its Readers, War Victory Adventures, and Beyond the Storylines: Comic Books Helped Boys and Girls Win the War.

The Allied victory in World War II relied on far more than courageous soldiers. Americans on the home front constantly supported the war effort in the form of factory work, war bond purchases, salvage drives, and morale-rallying efforts. Motivating these men, women, and children to keep doing their bit during the war was among the conflict's most urgent tasks.

One of the most overlooked aspects of these efforts involved a surprising initiative--comic book propaganda. Even before Pearl Harbor, the comic book industry enlisted its formidable army of artists, writers, and editors to dramatize the conflict for readers of every age and interest. Comic book superheroes and everyday characters modeled positive behaviors and encouraged readers to keep scrapping. Ultimately those characters proved to be persuasive icons in the war's most colorful and indelible propaganda campaign.

"The 10 Cent War revisits the iconic conventions of the World War II comic books--the pin-up girl heroine, the demonized Japanese protagonist, and the titular male superhero and his boyish-but-stalwart sidekick--and demonstrates that everything we think we already know about Golden Age comics needs reassessment. The contributing scholars provide fascinating close readings of both famous and obscure works, placing them in historical context and showing {they] still have much to reach us about war, propaganda, and race and gender relations that remains relevant to our time." Mark DiPaolo, author of War, Politics, and Superheros

Trischa Goodnow is a professor of speech communication in the School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University and has published books on parliamentary debate and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. James J. Kimble, associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall University, is the author of Mobilizing the Home Front: War Bonds and Domestic Propaganda and Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II, as well as the writer and co-producer of the feature documentary Scrappers: How the Heartland Won World War II.

There are also a number of other contributors.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Item Code THCEW
Publisher University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date 2016
ISBN 9781496818485
Binding Soft Cover
Dimensions 6x9
# Pages 240pg
Color b&w
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