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In a Growing Violent Temper : The Swedish Comic Marked during World War II
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1650-5348
2020 (English)In: Contexts of Violence in Comics / [ed] Ian Hague, Ian Horton, Nina Mickwitz, London, New York: Routledge, 2020, 1, p. 81-96Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 Since the First World War, comics have been part of the psychological warfare, with precise instructions issued by governmental organizations. Even children’s comics were enlisted in the propaganda war against the enemy. Since then, violence had become a natural and ever-growing part in these comics. This was even the case in “neutral” Sweden where the war was fought through propaganda and where comics played a still overlooked role.

The article outlines some developments in comics in Sweden during the Second World War, with a particular focus on violence in comics.

Representations of violence are testing grounds for the limits of what can be shown in different contemporary spaces, and this study of the Swedish comic market in the war years seeks to document the war’s mental impact on neutral Sweden. Changes in the course of war, such as the German occupation of Denmark and Norway in April 1940, and the entry into the war of the USA in December 1941, affected the development of the comics published in Sweden from being compliant with (1940/43) to rebelling against (1943/45) the Swedish government’s official policy of neutrality.

During the war more and more American comics, produced or initiated by the Office of War Information (OWI) and the Writers' War Board (WWB), came to Sweden, spreading American values, encouraging hate towards fascism and Nazism, promoting the achievements of the allies in the Anti-Hitler-coalition. As it was on the battlefields, violence in these comics got a growing part. But the more questionable part was that they introduced racial stereotypes and constructed a justification for race-based hatred of other nations. Nevertheless, the American comics influenced numerous readers in Sweden towards democracy and a positive image of the United States with a desirable American life style, a working democracy and a mighty military power survived.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, New York: Routledge, 2020, 1. p. 81-96
Series
Routledge Advances in Comics Studies
Keywords [en]
Second World War, Comics, Sweden, Propaganda, Violence
National Category
Communication Studies History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392175ISBN: 978-1-138-48450-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-392175DiVA, id: diva2:1347159
Available from: 2019-08-30 Created: 2019-08-30 Last updated: 2019-08-30

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