In modern times, comic book superheroes tend to view armed conflict with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless of which side they're on. But that wasn't the case during World War II, when costumed do-gooders from Superman all the way down to the lowliest nobody of a crime fighter eagerly signed up to wallop the Axis powers on behalf of Uncle Sam. And hey, if they had to deal in period racism to get the job done, who were we to question that? So just in time for Memorial Day, here's a gallery of vintage WWII-era Golden Age comic book covers showing our heroes fighting the Nazis and the Japanese on behalf of Uncle Sam. Many of these images were sourced from the excellent Digital Comic Museum -- check 'em out!
I have to say, as vintage examples of cynical marketing aimed at kids goes, this one is a doozy. It's an advertisement for Mechanix Illustrated from America's Greatest Comics #2 (Fawcett Publications, Feb/May 1942), and features none other than Captain Marvel himself. That's right young fellas, don't even think about reading Mechanix Illustrated if you're a crummy sissy! OK, so let me provide a little bit of historical context here. Mechanix Illustrated, in case you couldn't tell, was positioned as a competitor to established magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. It was published by Fawcett, which of course owned Captain Marvel. And lest you think being thought of as a sissy by Captain Marvel wasn't a big deal in 1942, keep in mind that throughout the '40s Captain...
Outstanding panel from True Comics issue #47 (March 1946) showing a scene from the Trinity atomic bomb blast in New Mexico on July 16, 1945 (artist unknown). Less than one month after this successful detonation, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. With this test, the Atomic Age began.
In which I explore some of the best -- and worst -- advertisements from vintage comic books. Today's ad comes from Beware #5 (September 1953), published by Trojan Magazines, and boldly declares, "Fat folks! Your dream has come true!" Now, I have some questions about this. What the hell is a Meltab? Are people really desperate enough to buy a weight loss remedy from an ad in a comic book. Why does the guy in the boxer shorts look like he's suffering from elephantiasis of the bladder, and how will Meltabs help him? But most importantly, who at this Robin Products Company thought that their target market -- and it's clearly women -- would be reading a kids' horror comic book featuring a werewolf on the cover? Related articles Comic Book Wallpaper: Witches Tales #2 (neatocoolvil
For those who haven't yet beheld the wonder that is the official Facebook page of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, there's still time to head over and click that magical Like button. Otherwise, there's no telling what could happen. So won't you please think of all the sidekicks out there, click on this link (or on the Facebook icon in the upper right), and then hit that Like button? I promise it'll be worth your while, as there's all sorts of cool stuff to see there that I don't share here.
Inspired by the excellent work done at Neato Coolville, I've started dabbling in Windows desktop wallpaper creation. My first offering was inspired by my recent trip to see the excellent The Dark Knight Rises, and is an inconic image from Batman's distant past -- the cover of Batman #20, dated Dec 1943/Jan 1944. It features Robin and an early version of the Batmobile, and was illustrated by Dick Sprang. The original image is 1920x1080, and clicking on the smaller one below will take you to my Flick page. There you can choose from other sizes to meet your needs! If you have any requests for future images, let me know in the comments. Related articles Desktop Wallpaper: Comic Book Superheroes of the Golden Age (neatocoolville.blogspot.com) Remember When: Superman and Batman
What happens in Vegas… DIES in Vegas. (Thrilling Comics #57, December 1946)
“Making the Marines happy is service enough for me!” (Canteen Kate, St. John Comics, 1952)