Shannon, Edward A. "Good grief, Comrade Brown! Woody Guthrie, Charles Schulz and the little cartoon book that was a big lie." In: Studies in Comics 10.1 (2019), S. 93–113.
Added by: joachim (2019-07-18 02:28)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Shannon2019
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Keywords: "Peanuts", Comic strip, Guthrie. Woody, Kulturpolitik, Politics, Schulz. Charles M., USA
Collection: Studies in Comics
This article focuses on American folksinger Woody Guthrie’s unpublished and little-known response to anti-communist propaganda comic book Is This Tomorrow: America Under Communism (1947). Largely forgotten today, Is This Tomorrow was hugely successful, with millions of copies in circulation. Its tangled history reveals ideological conflicts with its publisher’s advocacy of comic book censorship. Is This Tomorrow also features early comics work by cartoonist Charles Schulz (years before beginning his comic strip, Peanuts). By happenstance, Guthrie’s only substantial comment on comic books is also his only (albeit unknowing) comment on fellow iconic popular artist Charles Schulz. The article discusses Guthrie’s career as a songwriter, political activist and cartoonist, and reads Is This Tomorrow (and Guthrie’s response) in the context of an emerging national discourse on comics as a political medium in an era rife with both anti-comic book and anti-Communist hysteria. Guthrie was a Communist sympathizer, careful reader, radical cultural worker and a creature of the media. His attacks on Is This Tomorrow never become a condemnation of comics as a whole, as was common at the time. He even reveals a respect for the comic book form. The intersection of Guthrie and Schulz’s worlds offers unique insight into the waning days of Woody Guthrie’s career and a window into the beginnings of comics censorship that culminated in 1954s repressive Comics Code Authority in the United States.
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