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Get Up

Today on the site, J. Caleb Mozzocco interviews Mark Fertig, the editor of Take That, Adolf!, a recent book on the anti-Nazi comics of World War II.

The value in these comics lies in the truth they tell about the America of the war years, a truth that is sometimes overshadowed in our pop culture reverence for the American fighting man and the “greatest generation.” The racism found in the comics, movies and radio programs of the period is as ugly as it is ever-present, so it couldn’t be ignored.

I guess it would have been possible to make a book about these covers and stories while minimizing the topic in the text and being extra careful about which images to include and which ones to leave out, but I would have felt like a fraud if I’d done so. And while the book is undoubtedly a celebration of the comic book’s contribution to the war effort, my goal was also to tell the whole story, warts and all.

I doubt anyone would have noticed if I’d omitted something as obscure as Dell’s The Funnies #64, but it was on newsstands in 1942 and so I needed it in the book. And if I’d not mentioned Fawcett’s Steamboat, then I couldn’t tell about the schoolkids who were horrified by the way the he was depicted and actually managed to do something about it. That’s a story worth knowing, particularly because we seem to have made so little progress on race in the seven decades since the war ended.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. Eleanor Davis was one of eight people arrested yesterday at a Georgia Board of Regents meeting. They were protesting policies that restrict access for undocumented immigrants.

Board members left the meeting when the protest began. When they returned, the demonstrators continued their protests. Several demonstrators repeated the phrase “To come for one of us is to come for all of us,” before their removal.

The demonstrators were taken to the Fulton County Jail.

—Interviews & Profiles. The most recent guest on Process Party is Tom Spurgeon, and the most recent guest on Virtual Memories is R.O. Blechman.


3 Responses to Get Up

  1. Hello. Many moons ago, a fellow commenter on this site suggested that I should write about the tradition of girls’ comics in the UK, as I seemed to know something about it. Although I find it a fascinating and under-examined area of social and cultural history, I had to reply that neither my knowledge or critical acumen would be up to the task of writing more than a paragraph or two on the subject.
    Some years later, it seems a small body of analytical work is gradually emerging which addresses these curious artifacts and their relations to sibling publications, overseas cousins, their audience, and the world that birthed them.
    Here’s something interesting, an academically oriented paper about the macabre side of girls’ comics – which mentions Pat Mills, whom you may have heard of:
    http://www.palgrave-journals.com/articles/palcomms201737

  2. FWIW, I’ve just found out (about 2 months after everyone else) that Rebellion (2000ad) have bought the 70s and 80s IPC stuff from Egmont, who had no clue or were disinterested.
    It looks like some of this Misty (and probably Tammy) stuff will see print again. Mainly for the Pat Mills and John Wagner angle, I suppose. (They wrote some. And did Mills edit Tammy as well?)
    Obvs they’re doing a bunch of the boys’ adventure serials as well. I guess bits from Scream wouldn’t be surprising.
    All this stuff was looking pretty much lost to the sands of time, which would have actually been quite a shame when you look at the highlights from that era/region of comics activity.
    Obviously the whole project will sink like a stone, commercially.
    On the bright side, there’s going to be some Ken Reid printed for the first time in decades. (Big influence on Kev O’Neill. You can actually see it strongly in some of his early 80s, more curvily fluid stuff.)

    <<< tumbleweeds <<<
    Well, sure, I just don't like most other comics blogs.

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