Friday, December 06, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Bill Mauldin's World War Three Cartoons

I'm handing things over to Dick Buchanan who reminds us about this fascinating "What If" story about a possible World War Three from a 1951 issue of Collier's Magazine. We were in the beginning of the cold war, and there was always the threat that the cold war would go HOT. This is that imagined scenario, just six years after the end of the War. Thank you and take it away, Dick:


        (Collier’s  October 27, 1951)

  By October, 1951 World War Two was in the rearview mirror, the Korean Conflict was underway and the idea that World War Three was on the horizon was a commonly held fear.  With that in mind, the editors of Collier’s put together a special issue "Preview of the War We Do Not Want – an Imaginary Account of Russia’s Defeat and Occupation, 1952-1960."  The project, codenamed "Operation Eggnog," was put together by Associate Editor Cornelius Ryan under considerable secrecy over a period of nine months. The 131-page issue appeared October 27, 1951.

  Here’s the story in a nutshell. In May, 1952, after the Russian invasion of Yugoslavia, the principal United Nations countries and the United States declare war.  The United States uses atomic bombs against Russian industrial complexes.  Soviet forces invade West Germany, the Middle East and Alaska.  US forces, in disarray, have retreated on all fronts.  Korea and Japan are evacuated. London is hit by nuclear weapons, followed by Detroit, New York and Hanford. It should be noted their assessment of the harm caused by nuclear weapons was seriously deficient. Yes, things were grim, but never fear, all is not lost.

  The following year more American cities are struck by nuclear weapons, but now better prepared, there are fewer casualties. Slowly but surely, UN forces manage to contain invading Soviet forces in several theaters. On May 22nd B-36 s drop nuclear weapons on Moscow, in retaliating on Russia’s nuclear attack on Washington, DC.  UN forces are victorious in conflicts highlighted by a suicide task force of 10,000 US paratroopers dropped into the Ural Mountains to destroy the last remaining hidden Soviet nuclear stockpiles. The War ends in 1955 with the occupation of UN forces in Soviet Union.  In true storybook fashion Good prevails.  A Christian Science Monitor editor reports the rebirth of religion, unions, a free press and democracy in Russia.

  These imaginary events of the Third World War were the covered by 20 leading writers of the day. Author Robert E. Sherwood provided the chilling narrative, Edward R. Murrow, as an embedded journalist, described the nuclear bombing of Moscow and Philip Wylie helped wind things up with a love story about a US Major who falls in love with a Russian girl who has been rendered infertile by radiation.  Other distinguished contributors included Senator Margaret Chase Smith, labor leader Walter Reuther, sports columnist Red Smith and world traveler and author Lowell Thomas. Leaving no stone unturned, Collier’s commissioned famed cartoonist Bill Mauldin to provide all of the cartoons in the issue.

  Bill Mauldin was the preeminent cartoonist of World War Two. As an 18-year-old training with the 45th Infantry he cartooned part-time for the camp newspaper, The 45th Division News in 1940.  These cartoons depicted the viewpoint of the war from the infantryman’s perspective, as experienced by bedraggled soldiers, Willie and Joe, the unshaven, listless, dull-eyed, cynical dogfaces who spent the war fighting the Germans, trying to keep dry and warm and flirting with insubordination. In 1943 his cartoons began appearing in Stars and Stripes and were syndicated by United Features in 1944.

 Although Mauldin’s cartoons were wildly popular with enlisted men and with American audiences as well, they were not well received by some officers, notably General George Patton.  Patton summoned Mauldin to a meeting in 1945 and complained about the scruffiness of the characters and blamed Mauldin for disrespecting the army and "trying to incite a mutiny." Subsequently, General Eisenhower put an quick end to the campaign to ban Mauldin’s work by when he wrote an official letter to Deputy Theater Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Lear that said, in part, “A great deal of pressure has been brought on me in the past to abolish such things as Mauldin’s cartoons. . . . You will make sure that the responsible officer knows he is not to interfere in matters of this kind. If he believes that any specific violation of good sense or good judgment has occurred, he may bring it to my personal attention.”
  Here are all the cartoons Bill Mauldin created for Collier’s incredible project.

1.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 48.

2.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 59.

3.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 69.

4.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 74.

5.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 96.


6.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 106.

7.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 112.

8.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 125.

9.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 128.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Swann: Charles Addams Original Cartoon Up for Auction

The original art for this Charles Addams cartoon, which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1973, is up for auction at Swann. It's estimated to go for $12,000 - $18,000. The piece, like most of Addams' originals, is rather large, at 20 x 13 1/2 inches

Sheila Gibson Stoodley, author of The Hot Bid, talks with Swann Illustration Art Director, Christine von der Linn in this excerpt from their blog page:

How did this Addams Poe cartoon come about? I understand the joke was not Charles Addams’s idea—someone else came up with it, and he was asked to illustrate it?

Nevermore was, in fact, the first idea that cartoonist Jack Ziegler sold to The New Yorker. At that time, The New Yorker had mostly phased out the editorial practice of having staff cartoonists illustrate caption and concept submissions by other contributors, but it still occurred sometimes. Cartoon editor James Geraghty brilliantly tasked Addams with this one. It was only later that year, when Lee Lorenz joined The New Yorker and invited Ziegler to contribute his own work, that he became a regular cartoonist.

The Swann illustration art auction closes on December 10. 

A big thanks for D.D. Degg for the heads up!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Vintage Pen and Pencil Vending Machines

Here are some photos of vintage pen and pencil vending machines I've pulled from the web. I do not own these!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Lew Little 1933 -2019

Lewis Auburn Little, or "Lew" Little, passed away on November 21, 2019. He was 86.

He was best known as the man who decided to launch many well-loved 20th century newspaper comic strips through United Features Syndicate or his own "Lew Little Syndicate." These features included "Wee Pals" by Morrie Turner, "Tumbleweeds" by Tom K. Ryan and "Garfield" by Jim Davis.

From his obituary:

"Little was born on September 1, 1933, the tenth child of strawberry farmer Christopher Columbus Little and Susie Eppler Little of Dayton, Arkansas. His father read the newspaper comics to him at age 6.

"He was educated at Los Angeles Valley College in San Fernando, California, where he started in the newspaper syndicate business. He was responsible for the syndication of dozens of comic strips and text features. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism and received other prestigious news awards. He worked as an executive at major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union. He worked as national news director for the Christian Science Monitor News Service. He taught college-level journalism. He served as a corporal in the Army Reserves.

"He was married to Marguerite Forrey, and then to Mary Moore Little, before finding his wife of 45 years, Mary Ellen Corbett, a fellow journalist who called him her 'Funnypaperman.'"

"Little is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Corbett of Fort Collins, Colorado. He is preceded in death by his parents, nine siblings, and two children Edward Lewis and Devon Ann. He is survived by four sons and two daughters: Steve Little, Scott Little, Alan Little, Eric Miklas, Terri Roetker and Pamela Henry. He is survived by one grandson and eight grand-daughters: Mathew, Dina, Karla, Auburn, Melissa, Rose, Virginia, Kristen and Aislin.

"He was an enthusiastic restorer of old homes, and with Corbett moved a 10-ton Victorian mansion from the village center of Brandon, Vermont, to the edge of town. He loved dogs, particularly cocker spaniels. An early riser, he assured family members and friends that "Everything is in Divine Order."

"Memorial services will be held in San Diego, California, and Rutland, Vermont, at later dates.

"Family and friends may visit to share memories or leave a message of condolence for the family."


The Daily Cartoonist

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Poor Stan. This cartoon originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Howard Cruse 1944 - 2019

Very sad news. Howard Cruse has passed away at the age of 75. The cause was cancer.

He was part of the underground comics movement in the 1970s with his comic book Barefootz. He also was the founding editor of Gay Comix in 1980. Later in the decade, he created the gay-oriented comic strip Wendel. DC Comics published his graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby, which was nominated for and won numerous awards.

I remember taking the LIRR out to Huntington with Howard to have lunch with the Berndt Toast Gang for its monthly lunch. A self-effacing talent who was very gracious. He was more interested in the other cartoonists than talking about himself. He was one of the first, if not THE first cartoonist to draw comics and alternative newspaper strips about homosexual life. He will be missed.