Further Reading

Books & Articles: Ellis, Richard. The Search for the Giant Squid. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1999. Ingemark, Camilla Asplund. “The Octopus in the Sewers: An Ancient Legend Analogue.” Journal of Folklore Research 45, no. 2 (2008): 145(26). MacDougall, Robert. “The Wire Devils: Pulp Thrillers, the Telephone, and Action at a Distance in the Wiring of a […]

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“What the Socialist Prime Minister aims at by his Referenda scheme.”Brisbane Courier, Friday May 23rd 1913 p4. Octopus with the head of Andrew Fisher. Cartoon was published about a week prior to the general election on May 31 in which the newly renamed Labor party lost by one seat.  The “Referenda scheme” refers to the […]

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“Chinese octopus”: Ward O’Neill (after Phil May) Australian Financial Review (Best Australian Political Cartoons 2009, Scribe) (via Drawing a line – gallery) This 2009 cartoon is a spoof 1 of the racist “Mongolian Octopus” by Phil May from 1886. The country’s relationship with China was also dissected. The benefits of Australia’s resources boom, driven by a […]

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A brief summary, as this is a current event: The Freedom Flotilla is a movement that is trying to get aid, by sea, through the Israel blockade of Gaza. Early on May 31st, Israeli commandos boarded the ships in international waters, killing nine passengers and injuring dozen others. Carlos Latuff (the artist) graciously permitted me to use the above cartoon […]

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“The Great Oil Trust Master In The Act Of Telling Ministers The Virtues Of His Methods, While The Octopus Listens in Glee”; The Saint Paul globe. (St. Paul, Minn.) May 22, 1904, p.31 The introduction to the newspaper article: Spurred into action by repeated attacks in the public prints, the Standard Oil Trust at last has […]

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The Octopus Speaks

The following is from: Los Angeles herald. (Los Angeles [Calif.]) October 27, 1910, p. 6 I am afraid there is no cartoon with this one. But, I thought it important for giving more context to who Standard Oil is, or was seen as, and why it was considered an octopus. Can’t you just hear the […]

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John T. McCrutcheon “Mr. La Follette’s Strongest Card”, Chicago Daily Tribune on December 29, 1911 La Follette served as Governor of Wisconsin (1901-1906) and senator (1906-1925), and championed railroad reforms. (Also, I have seen photos, that is an accurate representation of his wonderful hair.)

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Kraken Rising: How the Cephalopod Became Our Zeitgeist Mascot | h+ Magazine

Kraken Rising: How the Cephalopod Became Our Zeitgeist Mascot | h+ Magazine “Almost exactly a century later, in the first flush of the Digital Revolution (©Wired magazine), the cephalopod archetype resurfaced. This time, however, the semiotic polarities were reversed: the mythic image that gave shape to fears of Homo cyberneticus deformed by his overreliance on […]

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The Curse of California

“The Curse of California” by G. Frederick Keller, published in The Wasp, 19th of August 1882, vol 9, No 316, pp. 520-521. Photo by Rick MacPherson of poster in Oakland Museum, California. This is only a quick overview for now. The Curse of California, Southern Pacific Railway. “Somewhere from within the blank mugs of those railroad barons (or […]

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[I]n late nineteenth-century America the octopus seemed, metaphorically, to be everywhere. Of course, this octopus was not the sort you might snag while deep-sea fishing. It was decidedly a land creature, malevolent, imbued with rationality, purpose, and unbridled appetite. Why did this image resonate so deeply within the popular imagination of the era? It was […]

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