Prime-time Satanism: rumor-panic and the work of iconic topoi

  title={Prime-time Satanism: rumor-panic and the work of iconic topoi},
  author={Joshua Gunn},
  journal={Visual Communication},
  pages={120 - 93}
  • J. Gunn
  • Published 1 February 2005
  • Art
  • Visual Communication
This article examines images of The Satanic Bible and clips from a 1969 shockumentary titled, Satanis: The Devil’s Mass, tracing the gradual transformation of their imagery into what is termed, variously, ‘iconic topoi ’ or ‘visual abbreviations’. Mapping the visual abbreviations of Satanic imagery demonstrates how the mass media enable the invention of rumor-panics from a limited number of ‘texts’. Once divorced from their actual content in media programs, the imagistic forms of the book and… 

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