Sunday, March 28, 2010

History Through Cartoons: A Plea

I'm not sure if someone's written this book, but I'll buy it if it exists (or I'll attempt it myself if anyone wants to offer me a nice advance).  I want a history book written through the lens of cartoons.  I mean, cartoons have represented--probably more than most news stories, history books, sociologists' attempts to re-write history books, and political memoirs--an incredibly honest glimpse into political and social history.

A chapter that I wrote for Musical Chairs, but did not include, reflected on one of my favorites from childhood, The Smurfs.  I had done a little research, to check dates, etc... and was amused to find evidence of the Reagan War on Drugs in the 80s reflected in an episode in which Poet Smurf gets the entire town high (inadvertantly, of course) and it's up to Poppa Smurf to conduct a town-wide intervention.

Going back further in time, there's the horribly-offensive but potently-honest portrayals of racism in old Betty Boop cartoons.  And finally, one of my favorites, a retelling, cautionary glimpse that reflects anxieties around WWII, through the eyes of cartoon squirrels, of course. 

OK, so if anyone has tackled this project, let me 
know when the book is out (or if there's one out there that I somehow missed?) and I'll buy it!  What do you think?  Would you be interested in such a book?  If there's interest out there, maybe I'll write it myself.


  1. Like how the Flintstones originally began with Fred & Wilma in separate beds because it was taboo to show even married couples together in bed? That would be rather interesting...

  2. Yes! And I remember when The Simpsons was controversial.
    I did find a history through the eyes of comics, which might partially satisfy my appetite. It's called 'The Boulevard of Broken Dreams'. I'll let you know how it is.

  3. I'm impressed by it all. I wrote a novel, fiction, thriller of about 139,000 words. On second book now and into about 32,000 words, but what blows me away is I see where all these writers get published in places I have never heard of. So how does it work. Do you just send your manuscripts all over the place? Alot of people say, "I'm published." But what does that really mean? I'm getting bids on having my book printed, but really, my goal is to get it out there. I mean, out there. Anyway,I like the way your site is. Very in tune. Good luck in all that you do.

  4. Anonymous, A little off topic, but worth a discussion...
    I recommend you find an agent or publisher rather than paying for your book to get published. But, if you do want to self-publish it, you could always submit portions to literary journals, to get your name out there. Best of luck in turn.

  5. Here's a good site, to find agents, etc...


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