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Comic Books and Contested Power in the German Democratic Republic
230 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-000-7 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (February 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-001-4 eBook
“This is an excellent book that fills a major gap in scholarship on German-language comics history and provides a useful analysis of the East German state’s methods of managing popular culture and leisure time.” • Paul M. Malone, University of Waterloo
“Four-Color Communism is a welcome addition to the field of GDR studies, as well as studies on education. It’s well-written, very readable, and compelling.” • Benita Blessing, Oregon State University
As with all other forms of popular culture, comics in East Germany were tightly controlled by the state. Comics were employed as extensions of the regime’s educational system, delivering official ideology so as to develop the “socialist personality” of young people and generate enthusiasm for state socialism. The East German children who avidly read these comics, however, found their own meanings in and projected their own desires upon them. Four-Color Communism gives a lively account of East German comics from both perspectives, showing how the perceived freedoms they embodied created expectations that ultimately limited the regime’s efforts to bring readers into the fold.
Sean Eedy holds a doctorate in history from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His publications include articles and chapters on comic book representations of the Holocaust, animated DEFA adaptations of Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and time travel and historical representation in the work of Hannes Hegen. Sean is currently an independent researcher and part-time professor in the Department of History at Trent University.