Sunday, July 08, 2018

Banal Mexican Stereotypes Sample #1,345,673: Abbott and Costello Comics #6 1948

What gets me about these stories is their banality--of course one could do a focused semiotic interrogation of the various "Mexican" tropes at play in the story below: banditry, sordid Latina sexuality (and fickle-ity for gifts), inanity, ignorance, etc. But more interesting to me is how wide-spread these tropes are by the 1940s--in a minor comic, put out onto the market to cash in on Abbott and Costello's fame as comics and movie stars, Mexico and the Middle East (note the main story in link #1 below, and the cover) are backdrops for 'comic' fun. The exotic erotic (and criminal) nature of the "other" is like oxygen--breathed in without a thought and yet essential in the construction of a "good" "white" "fun" American "self."

As with most of the images on the #textmex galleryblog, clicking the picture gives you a high-res version of the original scan.

Thanks to regular contributor Sergei Hasenecz for the links to these stories--here and here and here: