The Development Of The Comic As Propaganda In The Period Delivered And Its Impact On American Society

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The development of the comic as propaganda in the period delivered and its impact on American society

To begin with, we will begin in highlighting the importance that the media play in the different spheres of society and how they can play an important role in the middle of the different war conflicts that have occurred throughout history, (more specifically speaking, World War II) as Burke states:

´´The media begin their takeoff and play an important role both in the destruction of traditions and in the creation of new. It is no accident that the opinion phrase publishes, the same as the term "propaganda", will pass at this time the usual lexicon. (Burke, 2005: 119) ´´

For the same reason, the media, especially newspapers, become scenarios to propagand Load beyond, in which the counterpart is censored for spreading its ideology, this always accompanied by the characteristic violence of the First World War basic in any propaganda discourse: threat (strength) and legitimacy (who can do what). ´´ (Del Rosario, 2016)

Following this and in application of the legitimacy granted national, patriotic, with which people will easily identify and have the main purpose of fighting against an enemy or common threat at the time, the violation of democracy, rights and institutions.

Added to the idea of ​​strength and patriotism that can grant propaganda, we can see that its relationship with the comic was born precisely there, where the space is presented to personify the common beings, as heroes, capable of developing extraordinary skills and fighting in Against what is considered bad by certain society or culture, which through the use of symbols, shapes, colors and flags alluding to the country, seek to become icons of freedom, as stated by the anthropologist Fernando Vázquez (2002): ´´´ It draws attention to how comics and ideas represent comics: through stereotyped characters’ ”.In addition, he says, ‘comics iconize temporality in the form of changing spaces built by fixed iconic images’ ’’

On the other hand, the reason to use the comic as a means to propaganda and incit the military listing, is because Benedict Anderson (2006): ´´The drawing, the cartoon or the vignette has been, as art In general, a means to talk about customs, distinction or power. Through the representation of "imagined communities" ´´

Complemented with Marcelino Bisbal’s statement: “The comic analysis scheme must be based on two structure elements: words and images. The base unit of the comic is the "little drawing frame"

To which Reynolds, 1992; Coogan, 2006 add: ´´The superhero genre has been analyzed so far exclusively as a mythology (Reynolds, 1992; Coogan, 2006) in which their colorists characters represent a manichaeus confrontation – good and evil embodied in superheroes and supervillans – that affirms moral legitimacy to use power violently as a way of resolving the conflict.´´ (Hernández, 2007)

Following these statements, we understand that the comic in addition to being a social mobilizer, for being consumed by populations of different ages, is also one of the simplest means to reach society due to its easy understanding and impact generated on readers , this because it appeals to drama, the personification and allows identification with the super hero. In addition to this we are also sold to the idea that it is well to resort to violent media to achieve an end, which in a context as the period between wars is a great motivator both to fight for patriotic values ​​instilled inside the State ( North America), as well as that of a patriotism that forces to exterminate the one who does not share its own ideologies, a message that becomes repetitive until it generates impact or as Gasca states, 1996:

“In this way and since the end of the last century, America has formed a new citizen generation, which in all its strata receives the comic message daily. A underground, discreet, apparently innate, but tremendously effective, irresistible message. A repeated message using the most diverse and attractive forms, which will make the reader, speak, write, eat, love, dress, sing, win the elections and die, as do the protagonists of the comic ”(Gasca, Luis: Tebeo and mass culture, Spanish press editorial, 1996, p. fifteen.)

As a main reflection of the above and evidencing the need of some countries for playing a role of ‘political political’, there is no better example than the arrival of Captain America to North American magazines, a common soldier who suddenly becomes In a super soldier and takes a tour in those territories in which the war exploded, an example image to enlist, transform and potentiate its abilities for its homeland or as stated in the Marvel Encyclopedia (Orna, 2018):

‘’ The birth of Marvel and the creation of Captain America, a patriotic symbol for American society, define how a population is built under the influence of cultural products: “… Being American constitutes an ideological commitment. It is not about birth. Who reject North American values ​​are no longer American ”(Lipset, 2000, p.3. 4)

Added to this and in explanation of the great success of the ´´Capitán América´´, we have the following:

´´Capitán América was a key element of propaganda during World War II, where it represented a free and democratic America (North and Democratic that opposed an imperialist and warrior Europe. In fact, Captain America began its journey with a cover on which it appeared hitting Adolf Hitler and although, apparently, the authors feared not to work, sales were a success, and had a great reception among the public. But with the end of the conflict, he lost his popularity despite an attempt to recycle it as a successful communist hunter in the first years of the Cold War´´ (Del Rosario, 2016)

It should be noted that the comic was not only the sand to highlight the man, a space is also opened to empower women, who takes sides of the work commonly made by men while they are in the war, all this through the Character of ´´The Wonder Woman´´:

´´The women are no longer exclusive housewives, many work in factories and some actively participate in the war, nurses or spies, many women change their daily clothing, the dresses and skirts are replaced by pants and when they enter the Working world perceive a salary. The war mutates the daily customs of many women in the same way as their traditional role. Wonder Woman with his attire full of stars adapts to this patriotic context´´.(Ivory, 2014)

It should be noted that Marvel Comics and DCcomics were not the only companies that promoted propagand World War II, 94% of the Disney team was "borrowed" by the United States government to produce propaganda animations and various films about military service ” ‘. (Del Rosario, 2016), on the other hand and ´´The Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam appeared as a character in July 1940 published by Quality Comics during the so -called Golden Age of Comics´´ (Del Rosario, 2016).

To conclude we can see that something as common and everyday as the comic or the representation of the superheroes has an important background and capza of generating small messages through satire and the drawings, without thinking we can be reproducing foreign ideologies, additionally I think that we currently have greater tools (compared to the period of the First and Second World War) to generate and produce such messages that are capable of capturing audiences, which do not really know the final message, so the call is to be more critical from the media we consume.


  1.  Cano, e. H. (2009). New world order. Narrations about power and superheroes in the American Stormwatch Mainstream comic Black Summer (1996-2008). Loss. Electronic Journal of Comparative Literature, 104-121.
  2.  Del Rosario, L. (2016). Comic and power: an anthropological perspective. Millares Carlo Bulletin, (32), 52-65.
  3.  Ivory Díaz, M. Yo. C. (2014). Lights and shadows of the Amazon of comic Wonder Woman, the Wonder Woman. Space, time and shape. V series, contemporary history, 26, 135-148.
  4.  Moreno, j. J. R. (2007). The image of women in American comics (1900-1950). Trocadero, (19), 123-134.
  5.  Ruiz, m. G. (2018). The Second World War. Enclosion of propaganda comic. Bie3: IEEE Bulletin, (10), 1021-1050orna, C. (2018). Analysis of American cultural hegemony through cultural products. Case of the comic "Captain America". Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.

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