Aragão, Octavio: "Brazilian Science Fiction and the Visual Arts. From Political Cartoons to Contemporary Comics." In: Latin American Science Fiction. Theory and Practice. Hrsg. v. M. Elizabeth Ginway und J. Andrew Brown. New York [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, S. 185–202.
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|Resource type: Book Article
BibTeX citation key: Arago2012
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Keywords: Brazil, Caricature, Coutinho. Laerte, Gê. Luiz, Science Fiction
Creators: Aragão, Brown, Ginway
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (New York [etc.])
Collection: Latin American Science Fiction. Theory and Practice
This chapter traces the evolution of science fiction (SF) motifs in political cartoons from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to those found in the work of contemporary Brazilian cartoonists and comic strip artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It illustrates that early SF cartoons use mainly satirical methods, as per critic Robert Scholes’s concept of mimesis, while contemporary cartoonists employ the SF mode of speculation, exemplifying Scholes’s definition of poeisis.
As the chapter demonstrates, stories and images appearing in weekly periodicals that were originally meant to inform and entertain actually undermine the advance of science and technology through disinformation. This, in turn, served to reinforce the ideology that a technological future was out of Brazil’s reach. While early works anticipate and confirm the popularization of certain technological concepts and a yearning for a better, utopian future, contemporary cartoonists Luiz Gê and Laerte Coutinho’s critique the technological society resulting from Brazil’s modernization policies during the later decades of the twentieth century. They imbue their dialogue and imagery with elements of SF, using the genre’s narrative strategies by borrowing from SF television series and comic book styles. Thanks to these pioneers and the advent of digital and online culture, current comic book artists and designers in Brazil are in a position to receive both unprecedented financial support and cultural recognition for their work.
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