Comics, Form, and Anarchy


At least since their modern inception in the late nineteenth century, comics have been deeply entwined with anti-authoritarian politics and resistance. As the various contributors to this special issue point out, comics have played (and continue to play) a particularly significant role in the history of anarchist thought, whether in the form of satirical cartoons aimed at deflating authority, rousing calls to arms, or visual histories portraying specific instances of anarchist organization. While comics thereby have served as a vehicle for the dissemination of anarchist ideologies, and, conversely, anarchism has provided the ideological fodder for much political cartooning, scholars of either field have until now only rarely paid attention to this apparent overlap. One notable exception is Jesse Cohn, whose work on anarchist visual culture has often touched directly as well as indirectly on the particular relationship between anarchism and comics art.

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