Multi-panel comic narratives in Australian First World War trench publications as citizen journalism

Chapman, Jane and Ellin, Daniel (2012) Multi-panel comic narratives in Australian First World War trench publications as citizen journalism. Australian Journal of Communication, 39 (3). pp. 1-22. ISSN 0811-6202

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Abstract

Although textual expressions by soldiers in their own trench and troopship newspapers are relatively well known, the way that the men created and used cartoon multi-panel format is not. Humorous visual self-expression has provided a record of satirical social observation from a 'bottom up' perspective. The contribution made by illustrative narratives of the armed forces needs to be acknowledged as early citizen journalism. Comic art by servicemen - mainly from the lower ranks - has contributed to the evolution of democratic self-expression in popular culture, and manifests aspects of collective First World War experience that can be construed as a form of journalistic observation. Soldiers' universal concerns about daily life, complaints and feelings about officers, medical services, discomforts, food and drink, leave, military routines, and their expectations versus emerging reality are emphasised. In this paper, we argue that perceptions of Australian identity can also be discerned in the detailed interaction between drawings, dialogue, and/or text that is unique to this early comic-strip form.

Keywords:First World War, Comics, early comic strips, proto comics, satire, citizens, citizen journalism, journalism studies, trench newspapers, cartoons, multi-panel cartoons, soldiers, armed forces, Dominions, Australia, Australian identity, trench publications, Somme, Western Front, Palestine, Gallipoli, popular culture, the Great War, 1914-18, humour, propaganda, military, service men, comic art, social observation, illustrative narratives, troopship newspapers, military routines, Digitised
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P290 Publicity studies not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V271 International History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P510 Factual Reporting
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P400 Publishing
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P210 Public Relations
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q200 Comparative Literary studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P100 Information Services
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V261 Australian History
L Social studies > L222 Democracy
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V391 Military History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P490 Publishing not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P305 Paper-based Media studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
ID Code:7408
Deposited On:04 Feb 2013 11:57

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