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Comics and Cartoons: A Democratic Art-Form

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2007

J. Maggio
Affiliation:
University of Florida

Extract

The cartoon, comic, or—as influential cartoonist Will Eisner called it—“sequential art” is an art-form that is cognitively friendly to contemporary notions of individualistic-liberal-democracy. Whereas traditional forms of art have rather hierarchical standards of aesthetics, which then enforce customary notions of power and the conventional hermeneutic pecking order, the iconography of comics and cartoons is supportive of a kind of pluralistic democratic individualism. If, as some thinkers suggest, the world is understood by cognitive images in the brain, then—as the work of C. S. Pierce, Scott McCloud, and others support—comics is an art that allows for the individual self-creation that subsequently supports democracy.

Type
SYMPOSIUM—BACKGROUND
Copyright
© 2007 The American Political Science Association

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References

Fiedler, Leslie. 2004. “ The Middle Against Both Ends.” In Arguing Comics, eds. J. Heer and K. Worcester. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press.
Kateb, George. 1992. The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Manning, Alan D. 1998. “Scott McCloud—Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 41 (March): 609.Google Scholar
McCloud, Scott. 1994. Understanding Comics. New York: Harper.
McLuhan, Marshall. 2004. “ Comics: Mad Vestibule to TV.” In Arguing Comics, eds. J. Heer and K. Worcester. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Mitchell, W. J. T. 2005. What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Pierce, C. S. 1940. The Philosophy of Pierce: Selected Writings. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.
Rorty, Richard. 1999. Philosophy and Social Hope. Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books.
Schmitt, Ronald. 1992. “Deconstructive Comics.” Journal of Popular Culture 25 (March): 15362.Google Scholar
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