[C]artoon as text, as a cultural artefact which is neither a passive reflector or reality, nor passively received by readers. In this light a critical historical reading of a cartoon, or a body of cartoons, must look to understand the conditions both of its making and of its reception. […] Reading this source may also […]

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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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The railroad company builds for the future. These men with prophetic vision now that the traffic will eventually warrant the expenditure, even if it does not now. They set their stakes and the world comes to them. Thus does the Octopus do for civilization what your detached and individual citizens never can do for themselves. […]

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