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Comics as Culture.
By M. Thomas Inge. Jackson and London: University Press of
Mississippi, 1990. 192pp.
Paperback: ISBN-10: 0878054081 // ISBN-13:
Hardcover: ISBN-10: 0878054073
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Library of Congress: PN6725
.I54 1990 // Dewey: 741.5/0973 20
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Comics and cartoons are ingrained in American life.
One critic has called comic books "crude,
unimaginative, banal, vulgar, ultimately corrupting." They have been
regarded with considerable suspicion by parents, educators,
psychiatrists, and moral reformers. They have been investigated by
governmental committees and subjected to severe censorship.
Yet more than 200 million copies are sold
annually. Upon even casual examination Blondie, Archie, Mary Worth, The Wizard of Id,
-- among the many comic strips--will be found to support some commonly
accepted notion or standard of society.
Why do comics both amuse and arouse controversy?
Here is an attempt at an answer in a sharp-eyed comic-book lover's
probing look at this step-child genre. He finds comics both loved and
hated, relished and sneered at. In their relying on dramatic
conventions of character, dialogue, scene, gesture, compressed time,
and stage devices, he finds the comics close to the drama but probably
closer kin to the movies.
Acknolwedgements ... ix
Introduction: Comics as Culture . . . xi
1. What's So Funny about the Comics?
2. Comics and American Language . . . 17
3. Fantasy and Reality in Winsor McCay's Little Nemo ... 29
4. Krazy Kat
as American Dada Art ... 41
5. Charlie Chaplin and the Comics
6. Sut Lovingood and Snuffy Smith
7. Faulkner Reads the Funnypapers
and American Culture ... 101
9. The New Yorker
Cartoon and Graphic Humor ...
10. The EC Comic Books and Science Fiction ... 117
11. American Industrial Culture and the Comic Book ... 131
Suggestions for Further Reading . . . 147
Bibliography . . . 161
Index . . . 169
Barnette, Mark. 1991.
"'What Bushmiller Seems to Be Saying Here...'" Comics Journal 142