• Short Summary

    Characters from comics and fairy-tales have been given a new lock in Chile. In order?

  • Description

    Characters from comics and fairy-tales have been given a new lock in Chile. In order to get its message across to the very, young, President Salvador Allende's Marxist coalition government has gone into business of publishing comics.

    A state publishing house set up by the government is producing comics with a social and educational significance. In these new publications, a fairy-tale can be completely reinterpreted. Snow White becomes the story of a spoilt little rich girl who is educated in the joys of housework by the seven dwarfs.

    Other cartoon strips very from space adventures to a tale of alum children fighting for a new playground. There are even illustrated sex education supplements -- nominally intended to help parents broach a difficult subject. To keep circulation rising, the comics are distributed free.

    SYNOPSIS: In Chile, where Donald Duck has been condemned as an agent of the capitalist system, children's comics have been given a radical new look. The young -- and not-so-young -- are flocking to read new-style comics that can even include sex-education supplements. Behind the venture is the Marxist coalition government of President Salvador Allende. It has gone into the business of producing comics to get its message across to youngsters.

    The publishing house of Quimantu -- an Indian dialect word meaning "Sun of Knowledge" -- was bought last year by the Allende government. It's already a showpiece of the promised socialist society. Most of the directors have become worker-managers. Representatives of the workers have become part-time executives. It's here that the comics are produced.

    Ideas discussed at production conferences take graphic shape in the drawing offices. The cartoon characters designed here look familiar -- but they've been given a new social and educational significance. Even a fairy-tale like Snow White becomes the story of a spoilt little rich girl who is taken in hand by the seven dwarfs and taught to do house-work.

    Another edition is prepared for the presses. The staff at the publishing house take the view that traditional comic books in the western world tend to be delusive. They feel their mission is to make children more critically aware of the world around them. To some extent they still get their message across with such traditional favourites as space-ship adventures. The more radical changes include those sex-education supplements -- intended to help parents broach a difficult subject -- and the best circulation incentive of all time: The comics are distributed free.

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