Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Comics: GI JOE "Weepy's Christmas"

Christmas is a helluva time to be fighting a war... the ORIGINAL G.I. Joe and his buddies discover during the Korean War!
Long before Hasbro unleashed their 12" action figures upon the kids of America, the phrase "G.I. Joe" was slang for American soldiers.
It was popularized in 1945 by the release of the movie Story of G.I. Joe, starring Burgess Meredith as real-life war correspondent Ernie Pyle as he traveled with American troops during the invasions of Tunisia and Italy.
Ziff-Davis used the phrase as the title for a new war comic beginning in 1950.
Set in the present-day Korean War, the series detailed the saga of Private Joe Burch, and the rest of his unit.
Running an impressive 55 issues, the series ended in 1957 with Joe Burch and his unit reassigned stateside to Camp Humbolt.

We'll be presenting the highlights of the original G.I. Joe's comics career over the next year.

In the meantime, we're taking a week off, so be here the first Friday of January, 2012, for more wartime comics excitement.
Until next time...

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Sixty Million Jobs"

Even in 1945, we were worried about providing jobs to returning veterans... shown in this piece from Picture News in Color and Action #1!
If only our government could follow thru now like they did in 1945...

Until next time...
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Friday, December 9, 2011

UNCLE SAM "Ruthless Invaders"

Six months before Pearl Harbor, this comic book story predicted the event... National Comics #18, cover-dated December 1941!
Remember that comic books used to be cover-dated 2-4 months before the actual on-sale date, and that the actual production time for a comic is anywhere between 1-3 months!
So this comic was on sale in September or October of 1941, and the story was written by Will Eisner and drawn by Lou Fine sometime between May and August of that same year!
Eerie, eh?
Note: they didn't get some of the details quite right...
Guam is hit at the same time as Pearl Harbor.
This one is weirdly close to reality!
Guam was attacked and conquered the very next day, Dec 8th!
Aircraft bomb Guam and battleships shell Pearl Harbor.
In reality, aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor and battleships shelled Guam just before it was invaded!
A German invasion fleet heads for New England!
Plus, the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Guam were part of a coordinated plan by Japan and Germany!
In reality, Germany had no such trans-Atlantic fleet available.
Hell, they couldn't even invade England, only 35 miles away from Axis-occupied France across the English Channel at it's closest point!
And, the Germans were less than happy to discover they now had to deal with America, along with England and Russia!
Hitler had hoped to keep the US out of the war for at least another year.
However the Nazis did honor their pact with Japan and declared war on the USA less than a week after Pearl Harbor.
Until Next Week...
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Friday, December 2, 2011

ATOMIC ATTACK "Tomorrow's War"

In 1953, we thought we'd still be fighting them in the "distant" future...
... of 1972! Now that's scary!
This wild tale was from the first issue of another "future war" title from the 1950s called Atomic Attack!
(It was called simply Attack for it's first four issues and added "Atomic" to the title as of the fifth issue, so the first issue of Atomic Attack was #5!)
Oddly, only the lead story in each issue was future-based.
The other tales were set in contemporary (Korean War) times.
Until Next Week...
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Friday, November 25, 2011

FIGHTIN' ARMY "Gavin's Stupid Mule"

We go from the jungles of Vietnam to the bloody fields of the Civil War...
 ...for a tale of a tail (and the mule it's attached to)!
This tail...I mean tale from Fightin' Army #20 (1957) was one of the first art jobs by a young artist who would go on to co-create Spider-Man, Dr Strange, Captain Atom, The Creeper, and The Question...Steve Ditko!

Until next time...

Friday, November 18, 2011

FIGHT THE ENEMY "Chain of Command"

We go from pre-World War II oceans to the jungles of Vietnam...
...for a tale that, while set in Vietnam, could take place in WWII or Iraq!
The writer of this story from Fight the Enemy #1 (1966) is unknown.
Pencils by Jose Delbo, inks by Delbo and Sal Trapani.

Until next time...

Friday, November 11, 2011

USA is READY "Navy"

On Veteran's Day, let's look at those who protected the US on the Seven Seas...
...the swabbies and sea dogs of the US Navy!
Art by Jay McArdle, J P Ronan, and "F.A.R.".

Happy Veterans' Day!
A salute, and our thanks, to the men and women of the US Armed Forces, past and present!

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