THE COMIC BOOK WESTERN
NEW PERSPECTIVES ON A GLOBAL GENRE
Upcoming on Episode #202 of the Six-Gun Justice Podcast, pop culture scholars Christopher Conway and Antoinette Sol join host Paul Bishop to discuss the impact of Western comics around the world as featured in their new reference work The Comic Book Western: New Perspectives on a Global Genre...
One of the greatest untold stories about the globalization of the Western is the key role of comics. Few American cultural exports have been as successful globally as the Western, a phenomenon commonly attributed to the widespread circulation of fiction, film, and television. The Comic Book Western centers comics in the Western’s international success. Even as readers consumed translations of American comic book Westerns, they fell in love with local ones that became national or international sensations.
These essays reveal the unexpected cross-pollinations that allowed the Western to emerge from and speak to a wide range of historical and cultural contexts, including Spanish and Italian fascism, Polish historical memory, the ideology of shōjo manga from Japan, British post-apocalypticism and the gothic, race and identity in Canada, Mexican gender politics, French critiques of manifest destiny, and gaucho nationalism in Argentina.
The vibrant themes uncovered in The Comic Book Western teach us that international comic book Westerns are not hollow imitations but complex and aesthetically powerful statements about identity, culture, and politics.