The Comics Bureau

Comics Culture

Bitterkomix, Racial Stereotypes and Tintin

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Paul Gravett introduces South African Anton Kannemeyer and Bitterkomix. I found this article really interesting, especially following the news that a Brooklyn library has restricted access to Tintin in the congo.

bitterkomix_bestof

Parallels can be drawn between the premise of Paul’s article

Satire is in the eye of the beholder. The most cutting political satire, if misread, risks cutting both ways and appearing to endorse the very things it set out to assault. Might resurrecting racist imagery from the past to condemn racism today also serve to perpetuate that visual poison and feed prejudices further? Or can a postmodern re-reading give it added potency to shock and shame?

and the accusations of racism arising from comedian Richard Herring‘s recent Edinburgh show ‘Hitler Moustache’ in which he rails against voter apathy and the BNP, and attempts to re-appropriate the toothbrush moustache.

Satire is certainly in the eye of the beholder, and reinterpreting controversial imagery and subject matter is risky. It assumes that the audience is aware of both the original material/circumstances and the fine lines that divide the satire from the original message.

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Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

Posted in Articles, Comics, History

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