Fawcett Comics’ propaganda creation “RADAR The International Policeman” – CLICK TO ENLARGE.

On Monday’s edition of “The Freak Power Ticket,” historian Paul Hirsch, a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Barbara, previewed the public talk he is giving at 7pm on Tuesday, October 23, at Unity Church (227 E. Arrellaga St.), discussing how the US government used comic books to fight the Cold War.

Producer/host Ted Coe writes: “During today’s broadcast (October 22), we discussed the U.S. government’s cultural propaganda programs both at home and abroad during the 1940s and 1950s, and heard about the rationale (and methods) behind Hirsch’s doctoral research ‒ and Tuesday night’s talk, ‘Why Are These Men Smiling?: Waging the Cold War Through Comic Books.’

Furthermore, Paul contrasted such formal initiatives with the 1950s’ government crackdown on the adult themes in horror, crime, and humor titles from successful companies like E.C. Comics.”

The program touched on the larger impact of the medium of comic books, from the ‘Golden Age’ of Superman, Batman, and Captain America to today’s era of “graphic novels” and the digital revolution, and celebrated the pop art medium with music and other audio clips related to the world of comics.

Historian Paul Hirsch

A podcast featuring the complete Paul Hirsch interview plust edited audio tracks is now available online, below.

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the fall from 11am-12noon.