Saturday, 26 March 2011

PREVIOUS TALK: Jan 2011: 3rd Talk at the V&A: The Western in Comics, Ethnicity and Gender

Pat McGoohan, The Prisoner, 1968
Episode: "Living in Harmony"
© Dell Four Color, No.290 The Chief #1, 1950

What Hitler began and apartheid continued, was achieved in the mythology of ‘whites only' westerns. However, black soldiers from the American Civil War peopled the West in their thousands. They made a substantial impact on frontier society but on screen and in comics they didn’t exist; or were barely present as Aryan homogeneity prevailed. This manifestation of ethnic superiority is what this 3rd Talk covers.
Rio Rides Again © 1990 Strip Art Features

Thursday, 10 March 2011

4th Talk: 30 November 2011: Blame It On Romance

A Series on the social history of comics
Wednesday 30th November at
1.00-1.45pm in the Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A museum 

Blame it on Romance: What frightened Senator Joe McCarthy?

Romance comic books, with over 30 million sold monthly, dominated the American market from 1949 to 1954. The brevity of Romance might be related to the 50s anti-communist McCarthy witch-hunts.
In the late 40s one man assumed unheard of power. Senator Joe McCarthy transformed uncertain patriotism into an almost tangible fear. He cultivated a power base for himself out of proportion to what he was, or what his abilities were.
      The impact of Romance was vast and uncontrollable. Words like tsunami and unstoppable proletarian spring to mind. In most cases there were no credits, It was as if it was a form of literature where it didn't matter who wrote or who drew what. It was an uprising and a rebellion and this is almost unique in the history of publishing.

©1943, Tarpe Mills, Miss Fury

©1942, Tarpe Mills, Miss Fury

© Ian Rakoff