SJoCA 3: 1 – War and Conflict in Comics

Published: Fall 2016


Complete Issue (pdf)


Table of Contents

Editorial (pdf)

p. 1-2



Pascal Lefèvre: “What if the Japanese could alter WW2? – A case study of Kawaguchi’s manga series Zipang | Article (pdf)

By blending fantastical and historical elements, Kaiji Kawaguchi’s Zipang (2000–2009) delivers an interesting and ambivalent vision of Japan’s WW2 history. The manga occupies a somewhat particular place both in the genre of alternate history and in the contemporary debate about Japan’s military, which in recent years has been heating up through new policies about active national security that stand in sharp contrast to the nation’s constitutionally formulated war-renouncing and peaceful aims.

p. 3-27

Markus Streb: Early Representations of Concentration Camps in Golden Age Comic Books: Graphic Narratives, American Society, and the Holocaust | Article (pdf)

Concentration camps have been and still are one of the strongest symbols of Nazism in general and the extermination of European Jewry in particular. Ever since the camps were first established, media reports on them helped shape the perception of the Nazi regime. By 1940 the camps had found their way into comic books. Concentration camps appeared in several superhero, horror, adventure and war comics that were released during the Golden Age.

By analyzing more than three dozen comics stories and covers, most of which are still virtually unknown, this article provides an overview of early depictions of concentration camps in graphic narratives. The article discusses the comics’ key motifs, the victims’ identities, the features of the depicted camps, and the use of Nazi atrocities in order to disparage communism. It also examines the role of Jewish victims in the comics. The main aim is to show to what degree concentration camp representations in comics correspond to what US society could and wanted to know about what was later to become known as the Holocaust.

p. 28-63


Forum Texts

Maarit Mutta: The Asterix Series: Gallic Identity in a Nutshell? | Forum Text (pdf)

p. 64-75


Leena Romu: Detailing the Traces of War: Comics, Conflicts, and Documentary

Hillary L. Chute. Disaster Drawn – Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge & London, 2016. ISBN 978-0-674-50451-6. 359 pages. | Review (pdf)

p. 76-80

Jani Ylönen: Less Focus on Comics than Stated

The Comics of Joss Whedon: Critical Essays. Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel. McFarland, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-7864-9885-7. 247 pages. | Review (pdf)

p. 81-85

Martin Lund: Redefining the Superhero through Selective Reading

Arnaudo, Marco. The Myth of the Superhero. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1421409535. 206 pages.
Gavaler, Chris. On the Origin of Superheroes: From the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1. Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1609383817. 295 pages.
Fawaz, Ramzi. The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics. New York, New York University Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1479823086. 316 pages. | Review (pdf)

p. 86-100