Introduction
The importance of cartoons, caricature, and satirical art in imperial contexts
in Comic empires
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This introduction makes a case for the importance of cartoons, caricature, and satirical art as sources for the study of imperialism. As well as charting the scholarly development of ‘comics studies’ and its emergence as a respectable undertaking in its own right, the editors of Comic empires examine the thematic linkages between the different chapters of the volume. Victorian-age critics – such as John Ruskin – did much to bestow respectability on the cartoon as a form of art, and pointed to the imperial-themed work of John Leech and Sir John Tenniel at Punch as the epitome of the art. But Punch is only part of a larger movement that took empire and its discontents as the main subject matter for cartoon comment, from the eighteenth century prints of Hogarth, Gillray, and Rowlandson, through to the satirical weeklies of France, the United States, and elsewhere in the nineteenth century, and the mass circulation daily newspapers that appeared the world over in the twentieth century.

Comic empires

Imperialism in cartoons, caricature, and satirical art

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