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Tag Archives: propaganda

See X-Men, Want to Join the Army?

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Go_Army_X-MenWe previously reported on the Pentagon using X-Men: First Class as a recruiting tool, by sponsoring the movie and producing recruitment ads comparing joining the X-Men with  soldier’s life.  There’s no argument that soldiers are part of the folks I’d put in the “hero” category, it was a bit of a stretch for me.  When reading an article today by David Sirota about military propaganda and movies this stuck out to me about that recruitment drive:

The spots played in cinemas, and exit polls of 17- to 24-year-olds leaving the movie theater found that those who saw the ad were 25% more likely to say they would consider joining the Army than those who didn’t, according to U.S. Army Accessions Command Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Jasurda.

“We get asked all the time, ‘Why do you market?’” said Jasurda. “We’re a nation at war going on 11 years, which is … the longest period of consistent conflict that the U.S. Army’s ever been involved in, that the nation’s ever been involved in, longer than any war we’ve been in…That’s why we market. We want to make sure people understand the full nature of this product. The Army is the ultimate considered purchase.”

So, after seeing the movie and recruitment spots, did any of you feel more like joining?

Around the Tubes


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I decided to hit up a Borders sale last night, it was a bit difficult to pass up books at 50% off.  So, I took a shot and checked out some new series I’ve never read.  But, for the most part the place has been gutted.  Get there quick and take advantage.  Hopefully Borders decides to use the money to pay back it’s suppliers…. if nothing else I have some new cheap reads.

Around the Blogs:

The Independent – Asterix creator embroiled in family feud after sacking daughter – This is why you shouldn’t work with family.

BBC – Yuri Gagarin comic dubbed ‘propaganda’ – As opposed to everything else in Russia?

Bleeding Cool – Disney Have Ditched The Next Film From Tron: Legacy’s Director – Wasn’t there a Radical tie-in too?

Bleeding Cool – Christopher Nolan On Board To Reboot Batman, Batman To Appear In Justice League Movie – Is it now going to be three movies then a reboot? Is it that difficult to come up with an original plot?

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Comicvine – Detective Comics #875

Good Comic Books – Nonplayer #1

Anti-Soviet Propaganda in Comic Form


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The website Conelrad Adjacent has a great piece of comic book history with Is This Tomorrow: America Under Communism. The comic book was created by the Catechetical Guild Educational in 1947.  Catechetical was founded by Father Louis Gales to distribute comic books with Catholic themes.

4 million copies were distributed in the 40′s.

The book tells the story of a Red sleeper cell that takes over America after a nation-crippling drought. The saboteurs place agents in the media, foment racial unrest, take over Congress, brainwash schoolchildren, and rig elections.

The 48 page comic book tells how Communists could take over America and involves such classics as the manipulation of the media.  Conelrad has a great break down of the plot which is to say awesome.  It’s one to definitely check out.

Is This Tomorrow

Iran Versus Spider-Man


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President Obama and Spider-ManMohammad Reza Naghdi, the commander of Iran’s Basij force has announced the creation of “The Organization of Basij and the Media.”  It’s goal is to increase the activities of the Basij force in media and entertainment.  Naghdi made the announcement earlier in the week blasting “false” cartoon characters and taking direct aim at Spider-Man (was Captain America too obvious!?).  He also suggested that characters who promote the authority of the Islamic Republic should be used in television programming instead.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty it’s thought this is in reference of a so called “soft war” against the Islamic Republic, where entertainment is used to sway the hearts and minds of individuals.

“Today, we are engaged in a unique and historical war with the enemy in the frame of a soft war,”said Naghdi, who expressed concern that the whole Iranian establishment is not doing more to fight the so-called “soft war.”

Friday Fun – Meet JFK The Comic Book


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Today’s Friday Fun is an interesting nugget of Presidential history.  Entitled, John F. Kennedy: New U.S. President, it’s goal was to introduce the newly elected President to the world.  Produced in 1961 it was distributed by the USIS (United States Information Service) to US Embassies.  Two copies have been found one from an embassy in Brussels Holland, another from Brisbane Australia.

The comic told the tail of his life with an interesting focus on his families international connections as well as his own.  Also, there’s an emphasis on his anti-Communist stance.

It’s a great piece of Presidential history and well worth the read and study.  It’s clear it was written for the time, political climate and the international audience.  Below is a sampling of some of the comic.

John F. KennedyJohn F. KennedyJohn F. KennedyJohn F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy

You can read the full issue at http://www.ep.tc/jfk/.

Thanks for http://www.ep.tc/ and it’s amazing collection of these fantastic nuggets of history.

Using Comics to Understand North Korea


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We’ve covered how comic books have been used as propaganda AGAINST North Korea.  Heinz Insu Fenkl, a literature professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz is using comic books to understand more ABOUT North Korea.  The professor spends hours translating North Korean comic books call “gruim-chaek” in North Korea that he picks up in shops in China and from colleagues who travel to Pyongyang.

The comic books the professor has gathered tend to be spy thrillers with loud Americans our Japanese as the enemies.  The comics are in black and white and poor paper quality.  To be expected in a country short on resources.

The books are also designed to instill the father of North Korea, Kim Il-sung’s, philosophy of Juche — radical self-reliance of the state, added Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours, an English-language tour company in Beijing that takes visitors to North Korea several times each year.

Fenkl is planning is planning a massive web archive to share his studies to the world.  You can read more about this at the Global Post which has some examples.

Friday Fun – The C.I.A. Gets Into Comics


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In 1984 the Central Intelligence Agency produced a comic book for the people of Grenada denouncing Communism.  The comic book was air dropped over the country as part of an invasion by the United States and a few allies.  President Reagan worried about a Communist friendly government and used the safety of 800 medical students as a reason to invade the tiny country.

This was an interesting moment in history as it shows off American military action that many people don’t remember and is a physical item produced by and American agency that’s rather secretive in their endeavors.

You can learn more about the Grenada invasion here.

The cover says “Number 1 of a series.”  Our question is what’s in the rest of the series?  Did the CIA produce one for each of our invasions?

GrenadaGrenada

GrenadaGrenada

Ah government propaganda, isn’t it fun?  You can read the full comic book at http://www.ep.tc/grenada/.

Thanks for http://www.ep.tc/ and it’s amazing collection of these fantastic nuggets of history.

Duck and Cover – Government Created Comics


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The United States Government isn’t a stranger to using media to educate the public whether it’s through modern new media such as videos or blogs, or in the past posters and even comic books.

According to the book The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hadju, J. Edgar Hoover plotted out comic books to help sway public opinion about crime.  Some people might refer to these works as educational pieces, others might call them propaganda.

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln has a large collection of these interesting bits of history and have digitized them for public consumption.  You can visit their website, UNL Libraries Digital Collections: Government Comics Collection, to check out 183 different examples of these nuggets of history.

Expect a review of all 183 pieces on their website with some historical context starting in the next few weeks.

Anti-North Korea Comic Books Distributed – Update

Yesterday we brought you the news about the National Police Agency having published a comic book critical of the North Korea regime and it’s nuclear program.  The Financial Times picks up the story and expands upon the story a bit.

The comic is called Ji-yong goes time travelling to school children between the ages of 10 to 15. The plot focuses on a young boy who rides through time with his grandfather’s ghost on a giant, red dragon.  He witnesses the North Korean invasion of the South in 1950 and the Stalinist dictatorship built by Kim Il-sung as well as present-day labour camps, starvation, nuclear weapons and cyber attacks.

The goal of the comic is to provide security education to elementary and middle school students. The creators cite a survey showing that 57 per cent of schoolchildren were “not aware” of the Korean war and 60 per cent of people in their 20s could not say when the war started.

“In the past, national security education was conducted forcefully and stirred up hostility,” the police said. Children’s cartoons would depict North Korean soldiers as wolves and Kim Il-sung as a pig. “These new comic books are based on facts to help children form a fair appraisal.”

The agency invested 90 million Won which is about $77,000 in American dollars.  They produced 150,000 copies and distributed them to schools and police stations.

The comic books follows a “spot the spy” computer game that South Korea’s intelligence agency put online during the summer.

The two nations went to war in June of 1950 and paused confrontation in July 1953.  There has never been an official treaty ending the war (it’s technically still going on for this reason) and occasional flair ups and skirmishes have occurred.  North and South Korea are divided by a demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the 38th parallel.

Anti-North Korea Comic Books Distributed

News comes from the Korean Times that the National Police Agency has published comic books critical of the North Korea regime and it’s nuclear program.  The goal is to provide security education to elementary and middle school students.

The agency invested 90 million Won which is about $77,000 in American dollars.  They produced 150,000 copies and distributed them to schools and police stations.

This is all a part of an effort to strengthen education about security.  The two nations went to war in June of 1950 and paused confrontation in July 1953.  There has never been an official treaty ending the war (it’s technically still going on for this reason) and occasional flair ups and skirmishes have occurred.  North and South Korea are divided by a demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the 38th parallel.

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