Thursday, February 12, 2009

Culture, Conflict, and Comics

[Click on the above comic strip to enlarge.]

This comic strip by Darrin Bell humorously displays a possible conflict within a culture. In particular, Bell illustrates how rising sentimental emotions can become quickly become trumped by hip-hop’s ‘bad man’ stereotype. Just as one of the main characters expresses being moved by a rap song about Barack Obama, he immediately recognizes that such emotions are off limits.

The strip displays the momentary, disrupting effects that might occur as young men associated with rap culture consider the significance of Obama’s achievements. When confronted with the idea of an Obama, at least one of the men represented here temporarily abandons the tough guy image. Given the overwhelming force of such tough guy images, maybe even taking small steps away are important.

Bell’s humorous critique of the bad man persona is central to the message he conveys. The strip indicates that these tough guys ironically fear showing their emotions. And thus, Bell suggests that the changes Obama prompts can be personal and not merely political in the conventional sense.

“Candorville” is written by Darrin Bell. The strip is syndicated in many newspapers throughout the U.S and can also be seen here:

--Chris, Jeremiah, Kirk

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