Comic Strips and Consumer Culture: 1890-1945 by Ian Gordon

By Ian Gordon

Comedian Strips and buyer tradition explores how comedian strips contributed to the growth of a mass shopper tradition that used to be more and more pushed by means of visible pictures. He info how "Gasoline Alley" recommended the pleasures of the auto and the way 1920's operating woman Winnie Winkle turned made up our minds to accomplish a middle-class way of life. the discovery of the comedian publication within the Nineteen Forties additionally produced a super-licensed Superman, whose female friend Lois Lane even went on a buying spree in the course of a interval of wartime rationing.

Comic strips emerged simply as americans have been starting to outline themselves much less by means of what they made and believed and extra via what they got. Ian Gordon exhibits that the main enduring position of the strips has been not just to reflect a burgeoning purchaser tradition but in addition to actively put it on the market.

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Extra resources for Comic Strips and Consumer Culture: 1890-1945

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The first comic strip character, Richard Outcault's Yellow Kid, was developed from this type. Howarth was not the first American artist who borrowed Busch's naughty boys for his comic strips. mwre the day, Frank Bellew, and his son "Chip," contributed several such strips to Life before Howarth. But neither Frank, who died in 1888, nor Chip, who died at age thirty-two in 1894, developed comic strip work on the scale of Howarth'sY His "Revenge of the Persecuted Baker" occupied the whole back page of Judge and was in color.

11 Some artists linked the narrative structure of the evolution joke with caricature of city faces and types to comment on the metropolitan scene. "What Will Become of the Men Who Stay Out Late" transforms a dude out for an evening on the town into an owl. Other illustrations depict the expressions of an electric car motorman during a day's work (see Figure 2), and of a man receiving the news, by phone, that his mother-in-law has cut short her visit and left while he is at work. Variations on these types of illustrations include a man who turns into a pig by eating at a lunch counter, a lovers' quarrel illustrated solely by feet, and "Puck's Easy Lessons in Caricature," which shows how to depict any type of face by adding to a basic oval shape.

But it is probable that the experience of reading comic strips created a national audience, or audiences, if not a community, drawn together by the visual images of comic strip characters. 11 Comic Strips, National Culture, and Marketing 43 Boorstin's account of consumption communities does' not make it clear how they came about. He assigns advertising a central role in their being but is uncertain whether advertisers created or discovered them. " 13 The national spread of comic strips shows that the circulation in rural areas of urban cosmopolitan culture-comprising in parr newspapers, catalogs, magazines, and books-created audiences of consumers rather than Boorsrin's consumption communities.

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