Monday, December 24, 2012

BATTLEFIELD ACTION "Christmas, 1944: Bastogne"

The "Battle of the Bulge" was, in reality, many battles... the Germans launched a desperate all-out counter-attack from December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945, on rapidly-advancing Allied forces.
This is the story of one of those battles...
There are no writer or artist credits available for this never-reprinted tale from Charlton's Battlefield Action #20 (1958).
Until next time...

Friday, December 7, 2012

WAR AT SEA "Pearl Harbor: the Day of Infamy"

It's December 7th, seventy-one years since... let's have a look back at a story illustrated by a veteran who served in the US Navy during WWII!
Illustrated by ex-swabbie Sam Glanzman, this tale from Charlton's War at Sea #26 (1958) exhibits Glanzman's clean storytelling skills and amazing knack for accurate, authentic, renderings of military equipment from ships to aircraft and uniforms.
His best-known military comics work are the autobiographical graphic novels A Sailor's Story and A Sailor's Story Book II: Wind, Dreams & Dragons, about his WWII service on the destroyer U.S.S. Stevens.
Until next time...
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

FOXHOLE "Lucky Stiff"

It's Veteran's Day, so let's salute the troops...
...with a Korean War tale written and laid-out by a veteran of WWII, Jack Kirby...
The penciler-inker for this tale from FoxHole #5 (1955) was Joaquin Albistur, a well-established illustrator from Argentina who tried to break into the US market in the early 1950s.
Besides  almost two dozen comics stories for the Simon & Kirby studio, he did some illustrations for LOOK Magazine.
Unfortunately, the logistics of dealing with sending art long-distance from Argentina to America precluded his doing more work for US publishers.
Until next time...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

MILITARY COMICS "Blue Tracer and the Nazi Zombies"

What could be more frightening than a slain enemy rising to fight again?
Our Halloween tale (guest-starring Hitler himself) dares to answer the question!
This scary story from Quality's Military Comics #15 (1943) has a scientific, instead of supernatural, explanation.
Blue Tracer creator/writer/artist Fred Guardineer created and handled both sci-fi and mystical characters with equal enthusiasm, but he always seemed uncomfortable about doing war stories, unless they had a fantastical element.
Even this ongoing contribution to Military Comics (which was a fairly grounded war comic, except for Blackhawk), was about a fantastic torpedo-shaped vehicle that fought the Axis with super-science.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

AMERICAN EAGLE "Eagles' Shame"

There were a number of aviator-team strips during the Golden Age...
Art by Pat Masulli & Rocke Mastroserio
...but only one created during the Silver Age, ironically at the same time that the prototypical aviator-team series, Blackhawk, was undergoing a metamorphosis into a campy spy/super-hero strip!
Introduced in Fightin' Air Force #50 (1966), Native American pilot Captain Fort, nicknamed American Eagle, and his three fellow pilots, known as the Eagles, used unorthodox tactics to battle often overwhelming enemy forces.
Unlike Blackhawk and his team, who operated independently of any military authority (though they cooperated with various Allied forces), the Eagles were US Army Air Corps pilots who went wherever they were assigned, but once there, were given free rein to get the job done.
This tale from #53, the final issue of Charlton's Fightin' Air Force in 1966 was also the fourth and final appearance of the team.
Though the art is attributed to Ernie Bache, it's believed that Sam Glanzman either laid out or penciled the story.
Until next time...

Friday, July 20, 2012

ATOMIC WAR! "Slash by the Iron Greyhounds"

We return to a potential near future (the 1960s as seen in 1952)...
 ...where the Cold War became hot when Russia launched a sneak attack on the US and NATO with nuclear weapons!
This tale of mechanized maneuvering from Ace's Atomic War #3 (1953) was illustrated by Ken Rice.
The writer is unknown.

We hope you've enjoyed this week of daily posts.
Regrettably, it's not something we can do as an ongoing practice...unless we get more hits on the blog!
As it is, we had to take this blog out of a weekly rotation because too few people were visiting it.
If traffic picks up, we can restore it to weekly posting, then, if the increased audience warrants it, make it daily!
It's up to you.
Tell your friends and/or other military aficionados about us.

See you soon...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

WORLD WAR III "Jet Jammers' Jamboree"

Is there no end to Red Commie treachery?
Ironically, the Russians were ahead of us in some scientific categories (like rocketry), but not electronics!
Our German scientists were superior to their German scientists in that category! ;-)
The "ramjets" shown in this story have covered noses, which is odd, since a ramjet needs an uninterrupted air flow as it has no turbine to suck air in!
Ramjets can't move an aircraft from a standstill, and required some other propulsion system like JATO (Jet-fuel Assisted Take Off, which is actually rocket-powered) or being launched from an aircraft already in flight, to accelerate to a speed where it began to produce thrust. Ramjets required considerable forward speed to operate well, and as a class worked most efficiently at speeds around Mach 3, and could operate up to speeds of Mach 6!

Oddly, the Communists shown in this tale look Asian, despite being clearly identified in captions and word balloons as Russian!
At the time of publication, the Korean War was still going on, so it's possible that the unidentified artist simply made them Korean or, more likely, Chinese, since the North Koreans were largely-dependent upon China for arms and technology.
Plus, the map behind the Communist officers on page 2 looks like a badly-drawn version of China and the Korean peninsula.
It certainly doesn't look like the USSR!

This never-reprinted story from World War III #2 (1953) was written by Robert Turner.