June 3, 2013

COLD WAR COMICS

When I was studying sociology and anthropology in college, my area of focus naturally gravitated toward looking at popular entertainment as a way to understand culture. Berger and Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality and mythology scholar Joseph Campbell were my guides. Although comics have been a life-long passion, I seemed to restrict myself to works by Japanese artists in order to better understand Japan. Frederik Schodt's books and translations were valuable resources, and I'm happy to say that I eventually met Fred, who kindly visits my art classes annually to share his expertise. But what about American comics? We have seen a lot of imagery in the last ten years, especially around the anniversary of Superman and the popularity of Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which have drawn attention to the Jewish experience and perspective of the 1930s and 1940s. I'm sure many readers have seen vintage panels of superheroes landing punches to Hitler's jaw. With our interest in spies and Cold War culture here on Spy Vibe, I'm excited when something appears on my radar. Thanks to an order of Lee Falk's The Phantom from Bud Plant, I learned about a recent book called Comic Books and the Cold War 1946-1962 by Chris and Rafael York. 


From Amazon: "Conventional wisdom holds that comic books of the post-World War II era are poorly drawn and poorly written publications, notable only for the furor they raised. Contributors to this thoughtful collection, however, demonstrate that these comics constitute complex cultural documents that create a dialogue between mainstream values and alternative beliefs that question or complicate the grand narratives of the era. Close analysis of individual titles, including EC comics, Superman, romance comics, and other, more obscure works, reveals the ways Cold War culture--from atomic anxieties and the nuclear family to communist hysteria and social inequalities--manifests itself in the comic books of the era. By illuminating the complexities of mid-century graphic novels, this study demonstrates that postwar popular culture was far from monolithic in its representation of American values and beliefs." Available in print and Kindle editions. Info at Amazon and McFarland Books. Additional images from "Cold War Comics" by Daniel Leab at Columbia Journalism Review


I have a spy novel coming out. Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, a Japanese fashion model and spy from 1965! Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page.


Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our fiendish villains archive, Sam Mendes back for Bond, Spy Vibe heroes and Wild Things, book design dopplegangersChristopher LeeBettie PageDashiell HammettMiles Davis, WWII spy Krystyna Skarbek, recycled James Bond covers, interview with Fu Manchu author William Maynard,  Man From UNCLE manga. new James Bond omnibusOrson Welles the Shadow, rare Piero Umiliani Kriminal soundtrack, new Beatles Yellow Submarine game, James Bond audio book re-issues, Mid-Century Modern in PeanutsRalph Byrd Dick Tracy, my review of SKYFALL and more. Spy Vibe is now on Pinterest! Check out our image archives and follow us here.


Ian Fleming on Spy Vibe: recent posts include Fleming birthday tributeIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming Catalogdiscovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, and our Ian Fleming image archive link here.


Can you help to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you! 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...