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Printing terror

American horror comics as Cold War commentary and critique

By Michael Goodrum and Philip Smith

Printing terror
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526135926
  • Publish Date: Jan 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526179005
  • Publish Date: Jul 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526135940
  • Publish Date: Jan 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-7900-5
    • Pages: 328
    • Price: £25.00
    • Published Date: July 2024

    Description

    Printing terror takes a fascinating look at American horror comics in the Cold War era, from the 1940s to the 1970s. It reveals how these comics both reflected and fed into the anxieties of the age, particularly in matters of race and gender.

    The book traces the history of prominent titles such as Tales from the Crypt, Tomb of Terror and Chamber of Chills, while exploring the careers of cult figures within and around horror comics. Considering the context of Vietnam, the rise of feminism and the growth of the civil rights movement, it argues against the received wisdom that horror comics offered a subversive commentary on society. In reality they often repeated the sexist, racist and nationalistic tropes they purported to undermine.

    Featuring a wealth of vivid illustrations, Printing terror offers an exciting new perspective on horror comics, deepening our understanding of this popular but complex genre.

    Reviews

    'The six main chapters incorporate a broad range of texts, and in these Goodrum and Smith read comics from two distinct periods-the periods before and after the formation of the Comics Code Authority (CCA) in 1954-through the lenses of trauma, race, and gender.'
    Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association

    'The authors robustly show the extent to which horror comics appear to indict racism and misogyny while consistently presenting women and people of colour as endangering white men and societal structures.'
    Dianne Kirby, Twentieth Century Communism

    Contents

    Introduction
    1 The dead - the slain - the unavenged - trauma in the 1940s and 1950s
    2 Men are beasts! Wild beasts! Wild beasts must be destroyed! - gender in the 1940s and 1950s
    3 Confusion turns to fear - race in the 1940s and 1950s
    4 Monster kids: bridging the pre- and post-CCA eras
    5 The war has done strange things to you - trauma in the 1960s and 1970s
    6 This isn't a dream! This is really happening! - gender in the 1960s and 1970s
    7 We are a species that fears itself most of all - race in the 1960s and 1970s
    8 Conclusion: appropriating white male fear
    Index

    Authors

    Michael Goodrum is Reader in Cultural History at Canterbury Christ Church University

    Philip Smith is Associate Chair of Liberal Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design

    Printing terror

    By Michael Goodrum, Philip Smith

    Paperback £25.00 / $36.95

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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