Lenthall, Bruce. "Outside the Panel – Race in America's Popular Imagination: Comic Strips Before and After World War II." Journal of American Studies 32.(1998): 39–61.
Added by: joachim (1/31/10, 2:26 AM)
|Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Lenthall1998
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Keywords: Comic strip, Ethnicity, Mauldin. Bill, USA
Collection: Journal of American Studies
In the wake of World War II, the unofficial cartoonist laureate of the war, Bill Mauldin, turned the focus of his comic art to life within America's borders. In a 1946 panel, he portrayed two men talking in the shadow of the United States Capitol building. The listener was clearly a slick senator; the speaker looked to be a well-groomed tramp. His question no doubt left the senator fumbling for an answer: “Do you mean your American Way or my American Way, Senator?”
Mauldin did not provide us with the senator's response, but it hardly matters. The tramp's question all but answers itself. The supposed post-war consensus, the shared American Way, had not been achieved by unanimous consent, the tramp was suggesting, but by leaving out those who did not fit into it. The popular imagination of America might have attained a single, clean vision of the nation, but only by cropping out anything that could blur the picture. The imagined American Way would not admit it, but there were others trying to climb into the frame.
Added by: joachim