Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History

Photo: Courtesy St. Martin's Griffin (4)


Yes, the US military really did produce a cartoon instructional manual about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And the American government is by no means the only entity to use cartoons in humorless way.

Indeed, if you’re going to shove your political agenda down people’s throats, there may be no more entertaining method than comics. Which is precisely why Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History is so inviting and unnerving. In this collection of cartoon agitprop, Fredrik Strömberg, a Swedish comics expert, surveys everything from evangelical Archie strips and hysterical Cold War fantasies to ’70s feminist comics and 9/11 kitsch. Much of the material is laughable, but artifacts like legendary cartoonist Milt Caniff’s wartime pamphlet “How to Spot a Jap” remain vivid illustrations of comics’ inflammatory potential.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.