Just in time for the U.S. elections, Gene and Derek hold a roundtable discussion on political and propaganda comics. Joining them in the conversation are Richard Graham, author of Government Issue: Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s (Abrams ComicArts); Rafael Medoff, co-author (along with Craig Yoe) of Cartoonists against the Holocaust (Clizia Inc.); Kent Worcester, editor of Silent Agitators: Cartoon Art from the Pages of New Politics (New Politics Associates); and Fredrik Strömberg, the writer of Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History (St. Martin’s Griffin). The guys talk with their guests about the significance of political cartooning and what drew each of them into this particular avenue of scholarship. Most of their conversation concerns the history of the genre (at least in the United States) as well as the process behind the research. At the same time, they also focus on the current political moment and how, as several of the participants feel, most contemporary political cartoonists haven’t really met the challenge. The participants also share their thoughts on the impact of digital technology on the art form. In a heated political season signified by polemics and propaganda, it’s reassuring that you can turn to a Comics Alternative special episode providing you with the soothing comfort of…well, polemics and propaganda.
Learn more about this episode’s guests and their scholarship:
The panel discussion “You can get killed doing this: sketches from the satire biz” was held at the recent MoCCA Fest in New York. The panel discussed the chilling effects on what satirical works get published, and why it’s important to keep publishing satire anyway. The blurb in the festival’s booklet reads in part: “Can satire survive in a world of trigger warnings and Kalishnikov triggers? Could the National Lampoon be published in a post-Charlie Hebdo world? Is self-censorship the greatest sin of all?” This week we present an excerpt of that discussion.