Map of the day

Source – Cornell University

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Carriers of the New Black Plague

Drawn and created by William Henry Cotton in 1938.

Collector’s Notes: A powerful satirical commentary on totalitarian control of speech from the first issue of Ken Magazine. “Caught here in all their peculiar beauty by the soul searching stylus of W. Cotton, Ken holds up for wonder the mangy motley pack of little ‘strong men’ who are now leading the world on a backward march to the Dark Ages. . . . In effect, over more than half the world, Liberty is now in totalitarian Eclipse.” Each country is characterized by the degree of “dictatorial control” over communication. Each of the totalitarian leaders is named and shamed (“His Blood-red Loneliness, Nobody’s Comrade, Stalin”).

Ken was a controversial anti-fascist magazine, first published in April 1938. It was distinguished by unusual and powerful graphics like this one and a number of articles on the Spanish Civil War by Ernest Hemingway. The magazine failed in August 1939 as a result of wariness by advertisers and a boycott by the Catholic Church (Baptista 2009, 109-115).