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Alcinkaya - Paramilitary and DMZ.pdf (177.18 kB)

Ibrahim Alcinkaya - Paramilitary and Police State as a Dystopian Future in Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s DMZ

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-06-29, 15:50 authored by Ibrahim Mertcan Alcinkaya

03/07/2020 13:00 Room 1 #parcnp

As Pustz suggest, comic books can be read as a cultural memory and to a certain degree a reflection of the contemporary times in which they are created. Considering Pustz’s claim, Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s 71-issue comic book series titled DMZ functions as a reflection of the post 9-11 American metropolitan, specifically the considerably reinforced internal militaristic control, media oppression, and the traumatized citizens.

As Kraska and Kappeler put forward, since the 1980s, there has been a dramatic uptrend in the number of paramilitary police units or so-called the PPUs. Not only did the technological progress translate into the upgrade and diversification of the equipment that the police utilized, the occasions that the PPUs were called out significantly increased. Sturt Schrader also pointed this empowerment of policing in his work on the adaptation of counterinsurgency model that the United States provided the third world countries as a consultation back in the United States as a policing strategy. After 9-11, means of control and surveillance have continued to expand and gain power, manifesting itself as a cultural memory in Wood and Burchielli’s comic book series DMZ.



Ibrahim Mertcan Alcinkaya is a Master’s Degree student at the University of Warsaw, Poland, under the faculty of American Studies Center. He completed his BA in Halic University of Istanbul, Turkey from the faculty of American Culture and Literature. Alcinkaya is currently writing his thesis on the 1980s comic books in the United States as a projection of the corruption of authority in the contemporary metropolis. He has won University of Warsaw Research Scholarship twice, and currently writes in the faculty’s student journal The WASP Magazine. Alcinkaya’s field of interest in research include: 1980s superhero, vigilante and indie comic books, political science fiction in the neoliberal age as represented in indie comic books, novels, and video games.

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