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date: 26 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by examining the tension between education and entertainment in comics from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yellow Kid exemplifies the agentic, carnivalesque comics child who gets away with everything he does, and Buster Brown narrates the antics and slips of a naughty child who is duly punished. This also holds for Katzenjammer Kids and the children in the British magazine Beano. Children in comics are first situated in the broader media context of the nineteenth century. Changing conceptions of children and childhood and the relationship between children and laughter are also elaborated. The chapter then focuses on naughty children in comics and the degree of impunity offered to them in order to map the negotiation between education and entertainment as well as social commentary. It highlights the queer inclinations and affective power of comics children while also tracing the continuation of racist stereotypes.

Keywords: children, comics, education, entertainment, Struwwelpeter, Max und Moritz, Yellow Kid, Buster Brown, Katzenjammer Kids, Beano

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