By Ferenc Morton Szasz

The introduction of the Atomic Age challenged purveyors of pop culture to provide an explanation for to most people the advanced clinical and social problems with atomic strength. Atomic Comics examines how comedian books, comedian strips, and different comic strip media represented the Atomic Age from the early Nineteen Twenties to the current. throughout the exploits of superhero figures resembling Atomic guy and Spiderman, in addition to an array of nuclear adversaries and atomic-themed adventures, the general public received a brand new medical vocabulary and came across the key controversies surrounding nuclear technological know-how. Ferenc Morton Szasz’s considerate research of the subjects, content material, and imagery of ratings of comics that seemed mostly within the usa and Japan bargains a desirable point of view at the manner pop culture formed American comprehension of the fissioned atom for greater than 3 generations.

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His book The Shape of Things to Come (1933) even forecast the arrival of atomic weapons. ” In an earlier futuristic novel, The World Set Free (1914)—set in “the 1950s”—Wells penned a story of endless destruction from aircraft-delivered atomic weapons, as well as the dangers of lingering radioactivity—“inconvenient rays,” he termed them—that could never be entirely eliminated. 21 c o m i c s t r i p s c o n f r o n t t h e s u b a t o m i c w o r l d â•… ^â•… 21 But here one must look at circulation figures.

In 1932, English physicist James Chadwick discovered the neutron, and the next year Irene Curie (the Curies’ daughter) and her husband Frédéric Joliot announced that they had created artificial activity. The culmination came in 1938 when German physical chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann split the uranium atom, correctly interpreted by Austrian physicist Lise Meintner and her nephew Otto Frisch. All these breakthroughs received their share of “gee whiz” media coverage. ”3 During the same era, newspaper and magazine circulation increased c o m i c s t r i p s c o n f r o n t t h e s u b a t o m i c w o r l d â•… ^â•… 11 dramatically, and by the early 1920s the nation’s reporters had begun to specialize.

Several comic book artists depicted Hitler as the incarnation of Satan. 12 The fifteen million men and women in uniform made up a vast pool of potential readers. GIs, who had considerable time on their hands, were crowded into military bases with a little spending money. 28â•… ^â•… before hiroshima Depression-era schooling had left a number of young people with marginal reading skills, and comic books proved an irresistible genre for these GIs. Comic books proved the ideal medium to reach this group, and the industry tripled its production from 1940 to 1945.

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