Politics in the Form of Comics: Appropriate?

Political cartoons can be dated back to the 18th century, originating as part of the editorial column. However, along with simple single panel cartoons, politics has been taken to a grander scale such as Persepolis or Maus. Both of these graphic novels have become world famous for their distinct perception of reality. To put the Iranian Revolution and the Holocaust into the form of images was an idea heard of before. And today, we sit back and analyze these two novels and think to ourselves “Is it permissible to put such historical events into cartoons?”



Cartoons have a stigma of being childish or unprofessional. However, these two novels, Maus and Persepolis are quite the contrary. Both regarding a very mature topic, the authors Spiegelman and Satrapi respectively, did quite an outstanding job of incorporating both social agendas and a hint of levelheaded emotion to their books. In fact, both of these novels made CNN’s Top 5 Political Comic Books┬áin 2011.



I’d say, in my humble opinion, that it is perfectly acceptable to put such mature material into the form of comics. My reasoning is as such. For many, these events are too much to comprehend on it’s own. The millions of factors and sides to the controversy is almost impossible to understand by itself. However, with the addition of images and shortened text, it is easier for the common reader to grasp the concepts. Now, this is not to say that these topics have been dwindled down to an almost unrecognizable form. It is important for all readers, scholars or not, to understand the world that surrounds them. Putting political agendas and events into the form of cartoons allows all walks of life to be informed and knowledgeable of current, or past, events.