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In terms of race, do comics offer stereotypes?

in my opinion, comics do not offer racial stereotypes. As with all media, comic merely reflect the opinions of the time period. However, this does not mean that they don't help perpetuate stereotypes. As with many topics, comics can be said to present a concentrated reflection of societies opinions. These reflections can be seen in all the different aspects of comics, but especially in the characters.

Some of the most notable examples of comics perpetuating racial stereotypes can be seen in times of conflict, political or social. For example, during WWII many comics created Chinese or Japanese characters. These characters were often highly exaggerated, with yellow skiing, over-emphasized features, and sub-human intelligence. Another example is during the 70's with the perpetuation of the "angry black man" stereotype. In the post Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights movement, people began to find the ways of Malcolm X more and more appealing. Non-violent civil rights campaigns were seemingly achieving nothing, and people were becoming impatient with society holding them back. The result was that many new black coif book characters expressed this dissatisfaction and fell into a pattern of perpetual anger or strife. These are just two examples of the stereotypes that comics perpetuated, having picked them up from the moods of society.

In some ways, comics perpetuating stereotypes is unavoidable. As with all media, they are a reflection of society. However because of the unique nature of comic books, they are much more direct in their portrayal of characters, simplifying and emphasizing their important traits. This leads to the stereotypes that inherently exist in any time period to be portrayed in and exaggerated manner. This is both a good and bad thing. It is bad because, as already stated, it can help to perpetuate certain negative stereotypes. It is good, however, because it is a frank narration of modern society,and it allows us to stand back and look at how we are behaving. Overall, comics are not at fault for the stereotypes they portray. If anything, they are one of the few forms of media left that are not forced to be overtly "politically correct", and can portray life as it actually exists.


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