The Changing City as Represented in Comic Books: Chicago as Seen by Chris War

Tânia A. Cardoso in V!RUS (2013) 

The cities of the early twentieth century, as imagined in the comics, sough to portray the problems experienced by large American cities at the time. Issues raised by urban sociologists, such as immigration, slums, crime, and individualism, were taken as starting points for the characterization of cities in the comics. It is possible to clearly identify in Chris Ware’s comic books a deep understanding of the society and the city of Chicago during the modernist transformations, focusing on the nostalgia felt by its citizens with regard to the processes of change the city was going through and their powerlessness in the face of development and progress. Representations in the comics can shed a different light on how urban space is appropriated and perceived from the characters’ perspective, thereby directing the reader’s attention to important and critical issues for understanding the complexity of the city.

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