Dr. Sean Eedy, Carleton alumnus and contract instructor, just had his book Four Colour Communism reviewed in one of Germany’s top history magazines. A short excerpt is below, with the full review available online.
Over the past two decades, comics research has established itself in German studies and has become a generally recognized field of study. Comics attract attention primarily in the form of graphic novels in interdisciplinary communication channels and networks, from H-German studies. Network for literary knowledge transfer up to the German Studies Association. This leads to a growing number of scientific publications and conferences. German-language comics are used internationally as teaching aids in German studies and are a welcome enrichment for language lessons. They are considered authentic and accessible and are increasingly playing a role in the confrontation with the East German experience. But this applies to today’s comics, not to those from the GDR era itself. The book by the Canadian historian Sean Eedy can remedy this situation and close a gap. Although it does not present an exhaustive history of GDR comics – and does not claim to do so – it does make East German comics more accessible and brings them into international comics research.
For his study of GDR comics as an “interface between the various institutions and organs of state power and the development and everyday life of their children’s readership”, Eedy evaluated the archive holdings of the pioneer organization, the FDJ and the publishing house Junge Welt in the Federal Archives (Berlin). At the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU), he has inspected documents on the recruitment of IM candidates, but without coming to any new conclusions. He obtained most of the primary material from the website www.DDR-Comics.de (Guido Weißhahn).