Cartoon character

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Comic character is the general name for the usually fictional characters that appear in comics . The widespread cartoon characters from Walt Disney , such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck , are mostly anthropomorphic animals; When Mickey Mouse was invented in 1928, this type of cartoon character was already so popular that, with the exception of the mouse, “all the other halfway cute animals were already taken as cartoon characters”. Some comic characters are repeatedly objects of scientific occupation, for example the residents of Duckburg in the context of Donaldism , Batman and Wonder Woman , whose sexual orientation was examined by the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham in his book " Seduction of the Innocent ", or the political attitudes of the Simpsons . Well-known comic characters from Germany, in addition to the Wilhelm Busch boys Max and Moritz, are the foxes Fix and Foxi with their friend Lupo ( Rolf Kauka ), the figures from Mosaik , the Digedags (until 1975) and the Abrafaxe , and Werner (comic) .

Meaning as symbols

Sometimes the figures are identified with their countries of origin. This is particularly true of Mickey Mouse, who “is more than just a trademark, she is a symbolic figure of American capitalism, globalization, western values, the decline of culture - in short: she stands for almost everything that is involved the United States. ”But figures like Captain America , like Uncle Sam, represent a“ symbol of the only remaining superpower after the collapse of communism ”.


Since the copyright protection for comic characters like Mickey Mouse and the film Steamboat Willie was about to expire, American copyright law was extended several times through lobbying work by the rights holders , for example through the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Copyright Term Extension Act .

Nevertheless, a wide variety of copyright-protected graphic works are included in works of art, which has sparked a dispute over artistic freedom through the use of comic characters . Works that move between copyright protection and artistic freedom by quoting comic characters in this marginal area and which in some cases resulted in legal action by the rights holder, were shown, for example, in the exhibition Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age ; including references to Spider-Man , Disney characters and characters from the Simpsons.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas Platthaus : The tamed Anarchist: Mickey Mouse. December 16, 2005, accessed April 4, 2009 .
  2. ^ In Helmes, Dirk: The Simpsons - a political family: On the political-cultural significance of the "longest running sitcom" . LIT Verlag, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-8258-8412-3 .
  3. Andreas Platthaus,: The tamed anarchist: Mickey Mouse. December 16, 2005, accessed April 4, 2009 .
  4. Borchelte, Andreas: Captain America: Patriot until death. Retrieved April 5, 2009 .
  5. See Visual art - illegal art - copyright. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 11, 2009 ; Retrieved April 4, 2009 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /