Paper Sample on Comic Superhero Books

Published: 2024-01-07
Paper Sample on Comic Superhero Books
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  World War 2 Creative writing Government Entertainment
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1637 words
14 min read


In the modern world, cartoons and comic superhero books are generally considered as forms of family entertainment. However, during the outbreak of World War II, cartoons were primarily used as government propaganda tools in the United States of America. They were also used as mediums of communication, education and training for the Americans. Thus in this research, people the historical perspective of cartoons and comic books will be broadly be reviewed and evaluated with the main focus being the Second World War II. The issue of the role of women, the use of saving bonds and stamps and the role and the impact of the newspapers will also be discussed in this research paper. Different animations will be used to explain how cartoons and comic superhero books were used in gathering the support of the United States of America war effort in prior, during and the aftermath of the war. Therefore, this research paper will seek to answer the question "what was the significance of comic books and cartoons in gathering support for the U.S. war effort during WW2?"

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Significance of Comic Books

IntroductionIn the modern work comic heroes and cartoons are used in entertaining families. For a long time in the history of Americans, comic book superheroes have been well incorporated and adapted in the American culture. Most of the superheroes are seen in toys or featured in different movies. In the 18th century, i.e. between the 1930s and 1940s comics and cartoons were viewed by many as the crude or lowbrow entertainment for the unsophisticated adults. During the Second World War II, the sale of comic books doubled, the comic books were developed and published with the intention of engaging, entertaining, informing and educating the U.S. military and citizens. The private comic booksellers displayed and exhibited patriotism and supported the U.S. war effort through the use of comic book superheroes. In this regard, the government of the United States of America took the initiative to create comics to support its military in the war.

The government, the military and the private corporations used comics in support of the U.S. effort war because they were easy to fold, small and were the easiest way to convey information. It is important to note that during the golden days more so World War II, the U.S. government used animations, especially cartoons and comic books to send and influence the public opinion on some vital positions. Many of the cartoons and comic books used were designed and shaped by propaganda and nationalism. However, many of the cartoons developed during World War II were significantly influenced by nationalism with the main aim of bringing the entire nation together during those challenging and difficult moments. In the video given the pace university professor teaches a class on how the cartoons were used to influence the U.S. effort during World War II. Cartoons of victory, as demonstrated in the video, provided an insight on how the race and gender were bridged during that time. For example, through the use of cartoons and funny pictures, people felt victorious because of the advertisement and information conveyed. The United States enhanced its commitment to warfare until the nation found itself involved for better for worse.

The posters throughout the Second World War portrayed various themes from America's strength to the brutality of the enemy. The U.S. government used Walt Disney studio as propagandist government arm, that made several cartoon training films for the military men and women that used characters such as Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, the cartoons incorporated and dealt with war themes that were either aimed at promoting or enhancing preparedness or advocating for different intervention war techniques. In this regards the government significantly Walt Disney studio on many occasions than any other studio to strength and build morale of its citizens and also to provided instructions and training for the military soldiers and sailors. For example, during the second world war Disney and his employees developed educational films including also the animated short of 1942 namely “The New Spirit” that was influenced and commissioned by the United States of America Treasury Sector with the major aim of influencing and encouraging its citizens to pay taxes as a way of supporting the government war effort.

Posters Usage

The government used posters as the right medium of propaganda due to their adaptability. The posters incorporated symbols and often focused on the role each person participated in the war's shared effort. The posters also encouraged a sense of boldness by portraying a healthy individual and communications of doing one's part for the nation's good. Therefore, the research paper seeks to establish the importance of comic books and cartoons in gathering support for the U.S. war effort during WW2.

HistoriographyHistorically the use of comic superhero books began with the use of political cartoons in England and France in the 16th century, i.e. the 1700s. The influence of comic books was also used in Europe more so in the works of Swiss illustrator "Rodolphe Topffer" in the mid-1830s and 1840s. In the western world, Rodolphe is believed to be the father or the forerunner of both the picture and comic books. While doing his work Rodolphe Topffer would say that The drawings, without this text, would have only an obscure meaning; the text, without the drawings, would mean nothing, the whole forms a kind of novel, all the more peculiar in that it no more resembles a novel than anything else. During the 19th century artists also incorporated humor in their political comics and cartoons. These political cartoons then developed into general entertainment process and medium that was referred to as comic strip. For example, Nast, who was also one of the most influential artists of the time, used political cartoon for the sole purpose of ridiculing the government and business corruption.

Historical Comic Books

The historical comic books and cartoons played a significant role in shaping the modern and the current American society. Even though the cartoons were the first to be developed before the comic superhero books, historians such as Roger Sabin explains that cartoons represented a curious paradox that many did not understand, this is because some of the childish portraits and images in the panels, the comic strips and comic books concealed adult topics that included political humor and jokes. Other cartoons that featured children as the main characters became a medium of the children because they were designed and written in such a way that the less or the uneducated and the immigrants could embrace or understand. In the United States of America, the primary use of cartoons was for political commentary until in the late 1800s whereby people began to use comics and cartoons as a medium of literature and entertainment. Most of the traditional comics were printed on the newspapers, and as the years progressed and passed the comics became more popular and could easily be collected in the form of book forms. Between the 1920s and 1930s, the superhero comic books received significant and great influence from the science and pulp fiction stories.

For example, the pulp fictions were full of stories that entailed crime adventures. The year 1938, is referred to as the year of comic books, this is because during this particular year the sales of comic books increased with an average of 100, 000 copies per month. Many and different publishers made efforts to print new genres that were aimed at attracting a large pool of audience. The comic book that sold many copies was the Superman published in the "Action Comics", in a single month this comic book sold over 900,000 copies. On the onset of the Second World War, a good number of superheroes comic books were created, these included the "Detective Comics #27” introduced in March 1939, the "The Wonder Woman in All Star Comics #8" introduced in 1941 December among other comic books. This was indeed a moment and an opportunity for growth for those in the printing and publishing industry. From 1942 to 1945 most of the items were shipped to the military bases in the form of comic books.

The Domestic Role of Women in WWII

The second World War gave American women an Unprecedented opportunity to carry out jobs that belonged to men before, especially in the military. Indeed, the Second World War II is primarily referred to as the period in which women domestically worked outside their usual daily home chores and in significant numbers. Before World War II, many women worked in jobs that were traditionally known for the women that included sewing. However, during the World War II, it is estimated that at least five million women joined the workforce and indeed worked in the factories creating planes, home fronts, nurses, pilots and working as combatants. In general, the employment rate of women increased by 26% by 1943; this shows that World War II, presented an opportunity for the women to grow economically. By the end of 1943, 46% of all the women aged between 14 and 59 years and 90% of them with good body physique and aged between eighteen and forty years engaged in the National service. In the 1940s at the onset of WWII, the United States factories introduced hourly paying jobs, that paid well compared to the standard domestic positions. It is important to note that domestically women during WWII worked in the factories and were required to produce munitions.


In contrast, others worked in auxiliary services that included fire officers, evacuation officers, conductors, drivers of fire engines, among others. Trade unions that were highly denominated by the men began recruiting women into male-like occupations such as engineering.; this is because men were heavily involved in the war. However, women were heavily discriminated and sexually assaulted during the second World War.

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