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Abate, Michelle Ann: "‘Always gettin’ in trouble’. the Li’l Tomboy comic-book series, the good female consumer, and the fifties bad girl." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 6.1 (2015), S. 59–90.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Abate2015a
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Keywords: "Li’l Tomboy", Gender, Kinder- und Jugendcomics, Kulturpolitik, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
This essay explores the rich and interesting but critically neglected Li’l Tomboy comic-book series (Charlton Publications, 1956–59). As my discussion demonstrates, Li’l Tomboy offers a compelling commentary about the complex feedback loop that existed between American popular culture during the 1950s and its prevailing social anxieties. The comic-book career of Li’l Tomboy takes place against the backdrop of growing national concerns about female gender conformity, youth rebellion, and the rising rates of juvenile delinquency. This feisty female figure engaged in behaviour that went far beyond simple defying post-war notions about appropriate feminine conduct; it could often be seen as delinquent. Moreover, Li’l Tomboy engages in these activities not simply under the watchful eye of the Comics Code Authority, but, astoundingly, with their official seal of approval. During a time when the censors employed by the Authority office were at their most powerful and restrictive, Li’l Tomboy engaged in antics that far exceeded those that had been forbidden in other publications. Accordingly, this article tells the story of how, with the creation of Li’l Tomboy, Charlton Publications demonstrated that post-war gender conformity could be resisted, undermined, and circumvented and, even more significantly, so too could the Comics Code.
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