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COMICS, COMIX, & THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

by Don L. F. Nilsen and


Alleen Pace Nilsen

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The first comic book appeared in 1933,
as shown here in Little Lulu.
The cost of each comic book
was a dime (10 cents).

You can tell the age of a


comic book by looking at the
original price.

Today there is a huge


discrepancy between the
price on the cover and the
actual price of the collectible
comic book.

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Mad Magazine in 1952

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Super Heroes
D. C. Comics: The Justice League

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Captain Marvel
The original Captain
Marvel was
published by
Fawcett Comics and
outsold Superman
in the 1940s.

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Shazam!
Ironically, DC Comics in
the 1970s purchased the
original Captain Marvel
character, but could not
put his name on a front
cover.

So, the comic was called


Shazam (after the wizard
who granted Captain
Marvel his powers).

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Marvel Comics
Guardians of the Galaxy

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Marvel Comics
The Fantastic Four

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Marvel Comics:
WolverineComic Book vs. Movies

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The Avengers vs. The X-Men

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Early Comics: World War II
Everybody hates Hitler!

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Even the Fantastic Four are after Hitler!

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Todays Comics
range from simple domestic humor such as The
Family Circus to the sophisticated social and
political satire of Gary Trudeaus Doonesbury.

Cathy takes on the problems of single professional


women.

BC, The Wizard of Id, Broom Hilda, Zippy and many


more offer a combination of simple amusement and
allegorical meaning.

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UNDERGROUND COMIX
The term comix is a co-mix of image and
words.

Underground comix deal with the underbelly


of society as they make fun of drugs, sex,
violence, racism, elitism, blasphemy, risque
music, body functions, and crude language.

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Robert Crumb
the Father of Underground Comix.

The distorted
heads and
enlarged feet of
Crumbs
drawings came
from his LSD-
distorted view of
people and
symbols.
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Gilbert Shelton-- another drug-inspired
underground comix writer of the 1960s

His well-received
parody of the 1960s
hippie drug culture
was designed not to
preach, but to
entertain.

Shelton also created


Wonder Wart-Hog
as a parody of
superhero comics.

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ABOVEGROUND COMICS
At the opposite end of the spectrum from
underground comix are the coffee table
comic books:
Joe Andersons Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only
One Grey Hare
Berkeley Breatheds Bloom County Babylon: Five
Years of Basic Naughtiness
Walt Kellys Pluperfect Pogo
Bill Wattersons The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth
Anniversary Book

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Parodies of Batman

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Parody of Snoopy:
It was a dark and stormy night.

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MIDDLEGROUND COMICS
Between the underground comix and the
coffee table comics, mainstream
collections include:

Scott Adamss The Dilbert Principle

Charles Schulzs Happiness Is a Warm


Puppy, Home Is on Top of a Dog House, I
Need All the Friends I Can Get, and
Security is a Thumb and a Blanket
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JOHN CALLAHANS DISABILITY
CARTOONS
John Callahan was paralyzed in an
automobile accident shortly after his
21st birthday. He draws controversial
cartoons about disabilities.

One of his most famous shows a dark-


skinned street beggar carrying a sign
that reads, Please help me. I am blind
and black, but not musical.

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In another cartoon, a man with two
prosthetic hands is ordering a drink,
and the bartender says, Sorry Sam,
you cant hold your liquor.

When under the title, The Alzheimer


Hoedown, he showed confused
couples unable to Return to the girl
that you just left, he received an
angry letter from the St. Louis chapter
of the Alzheimers Association.

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Members of the Hall of Fame
Sponsored by the
International Museum of
Cartoon Art Include the
following, each shown with
one of their most famous
cartoons:

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Dik Brownes Hagar the Horrible

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Milton Caniffs Terry and the Pirates

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Al Capps Lil Abner

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Billy DeBecks Barney Google

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Rudolph Dirkss Katzenjammer Kids

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Left: Hans and Fritz
Right: Hans and Franz

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Budd Fishers Mutt and Jeff

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Harold Fosters Tarzan

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Chester Goulds Dick Tracy

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Harold Grays Little Orphan Annie

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George Herrimans Krazy Kat and Ignatz

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Walt Kellys Pogo

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Walt Kellys Simple J. Malarkey alluded to Senator McCarthy.
When newspapers said they would no longer show Malarkeys head,
Kelly placed a brown paper bag over his head, which added to the joke.

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Winsor McCays Little Nemo in Slumberland

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George McManuss Bringing Up Father
Maggie and Jiggs

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Richard Oucaults The Yellow Kid
and Buster Brown and Tige

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Alex Raymonds Flash Gordon

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Charles Schulzs Peanuts

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Elzie Segars Popeye

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Mort Walkers Beetle Bailey

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Chic Youngs Blondie and Dagwood

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JOHNNY HART CARTOON
When the following Johnny Hart strip was run in The
Arab News, both the feature editor and the editor-in-
chief were sentenced to lashing and prison terms for
failing to recognize the blasphemy.

Their sentences were reduced after the incident


caused an international furor.

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Arizonas Governor Evan Meacham

In Garry Trudeaus
Doonesbury there is
a Mecham-like
character who
reacts to claims that
he is insensitive:

Lies! Lies spread


by queers and
pickanninies.
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THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

Graphic novels have become a major part of


modern literature.

Many people first took notice of them in 1986


when Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize
for his Maus.

As shown in the next slide, he has continued


to work with modern tragedies.
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Art Spiegelmans In the
Shadow of No Towers

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Art Spiegelmans In the Shadow
of No Towers

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ART SPIEGELMAN:

http://lambiek.net/artists/s/spiegelman.htm

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