The comic art form’s impact on cultural norms can engender new understandings of rights and shape conceptions of equality in our shared consciousness as a society. Drawing on the 1960s era of social change, this Article examines how comics can produce activism by shaping cultural norms which are reframed, contested, or contextualized to help generate new shared understandings of rights and equality in American democracy. The comic art form should be taken seriously as a medium for activism that can influence changes in social consciousness, illustrated in this Article with examples as diverse as the quiet revolution of the Peanuts cast and the brash, norm-busting cartoonists who propelled the underground comix movement. How we now conceive our rights, including implied fundamental rights, or the equality of protections under the Constitution, were influenced by comics. Today, the comics’ world reaches more and more new audiences as a transnational, globalized network of art and artists and expresses ways of seeing and knowing that shape the collective consciousness of pluralistic societies.
Comics Art, Cultural Norms, and the Social Consciousness of Activism in American Democracy,
71 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol71/iss4/6