Golden Age War comics
8 8

782 posts in this topic

6,972 posts

Hello all,

 

I've got a good handle on Silver, Bronze and Modern war comics, but I know very little about how war comics were represented in the Golden Age and Atom Age. I know that certainly war comics EXPLODED in the early 1950s once the Korean War began, but before that I know very little about publishers, titles, artists, etc.

 

So... I've come to the experts. :grin:

 

I'm getting more and more interested in war books of this era. If you have scans of interesting books, with info on them... please help a brudda out and post away!

 

Thanks

Shep

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,568 posts

Here's a couple of links to threads that will get you started:

 

For the Nazi covers:

 

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3489178#Post3489178

 

And for the Japanese war covers:

 

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=4918098&fpart=1

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,440 posts

Great question, Shep.

 

There is a real dearth of true War comics in the inter-war period. We mention often that Super-Heroes were repurposed to fight local thugs and gangs to no great success. The same issue occured for the War features in War comics. A typical transition for the ex-G.I. is to become Soldiers of Fortune, either by founding their own firms and being hired out (see Risk Unlimited from Fiction House) or going it alone and becoming explorers and treasure seekers or world solvers (though we are at the tail end of that golden period. Exploration from the mid- to late-1800's was a true golden age and the '20's and '30's still offered thrills of discovery, by the '40's, it's a shell of its former self and glamour IMO) à la Blackhawk and thus, in my mind, this is no longer a War feature. Worse, more often than not, those features simply died out and were replaced with the rise of the Western and Jungle Queens. In fact, though represented in general as the period of the anti-commie fight, such features didn't rise until also war features rose.

 

You'll find few War books post-WW II proper until the resurgence circa the Korean conflict. Also, during the War years, while many books sport a seemingly War cover, the contents, still generally an anthology, are very limited in terms of War features (a clearly different model from the Big Five books you are familiar with).

 

In short, I don't have a short answer but it's a great question you asked and, if I find the time, I'll look around to see what true war books do exist, if any, over that time span. Then, smarter people than I am can chime in on the idea that it represents a willingness of the society to forget about the war and not bring such into popular culture / entertainment. The only war movies made after the war were celebratory movies about the great victories of the war. Depressing war movies didn't come on the scene until much later and even then tried to make their points referencing other conflicts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,323 posts

A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25,040 posts

Just looking at the incidence of comics with "war" in the title shows a complete disappearance in the inter-war years of 1946 - 1950. You can also see the huge jump from 1951 on.

 

http://www.comics.org/series/name/war/sort/chrono/

 

Shifting the search to "combat" doesn't change the result at all.

 

http://www.comics.org/series/name/combat/sort/chrono/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,553 posts
Hello all,

 

I've got a good handle on Silver, Bronze and Modern war comics, but I know very little about how war comics were represented in the Golden Age and Atom Age. I know that certainly war comics EXPLODED in the early 1950s once the Korean War began, but before that I know very little about publishers, titles, artists, etc.

 

So... I've come to the experts. :grin:

 

I'm getting more and more interested in war books of this era. If you have scans of interesting books, with info on them... please help a brudda out and post away!

 

Thanks

Shep

 

 

For some folks this is the ultimate WWII book; it's easy to see why. I'm not sure that I'd go quite that far (there are so many great war themed covers confronting the evils of the Axis), but this is one of my personal favorites...

 

img_DBHfrontcovercopy_158-1.jpg

 

 

 

Here is another awesome anti-nazi book produced by a different publisher (also a favorite)...

 

 

 

img_Mystic_ComicsV17_055-1-1-1.jpg

 

 

WWII era comic books were pretty broad spectrum, covering everything from funny animal parody and costumed hero symbolism to war-front realism. War comics were America's red-meat propaganda that extolled the virtue of patriotism to preserve freedom. (thumbs u

 

(paragraph edited for excessive verbosity) :sorry:

Edited by DavidMerryweather

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30,087 posts
A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

 

True Comics had quite a few war themed isuses as did Real Heroes and Real Life Comics

 

http://www.comics.org/series/271/covers/

 

http://www.comics.org/series/270/covers/

 

http://www.comics.org/series/12490/covers/

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,293 posts

For want of a better genre, I always put the True Comics on the website as war comics, so I agree with you 100%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,293 posts

Good list. I also agree with Fuelman on Wings and definitely other Fiction House books.

 

There are also some other Aviation type books like True Aviation Picture Stories that are more war than anything else.

 

A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,568 posts
A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

 

True Comics had quite a few war themed isuses as did Real Heroes and Real Life Comics

 

http://www.comics.org/series/271/covers/

 

http://www.comics.org/series/270/covers/

 

http://www.comics.org/series/12490/covers/

 

 

flycad.jpg

 

 

true.jpg

 

 

unitedstatesmarines3fc.jpg

 

 

itreally4.jpg

 

 

reallife26.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33,408 posts
A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

Don Winslow should also be added to this list. Matt Ballesteros put together a pretty good list in his first War Report in last year's Overstreet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33,408 posts
americanlibrary2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30,087 posts
A few that come to mind would be:

War Comics (Dell 1940)

United States Marines & American Air Forces (ME 1943)

War Heroes (Dell 1942)

And there were various one-shots (Guadalcanal Diary, MacArthur, etc.)

 

But for titles dedicated to a war theme prior to Korea, not much else comes to mind.

Don Winslow should also be added to this list. Matt Ballesteros put together a pretty good list in his first War Report in last year's Overstreet.

 

Fight Comics would be a nice addition to the list too

 

http://www.comics.org/series/160/covers/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,323 posts

I agree with Don Winslow, but I have a hard time with most any of the Fiction House and Real Life/True. I think most of the FH titles were initially intended to be war-themed, but ended up changing. Rangers & Fight were more super-hero/adventure oriented when they started. Real Life/True usually had at least one war-themed story, but it wasn't consistent throughout the title. Heroic is another that was semi war-themed. But in terms of "just" war like the 50s & 60s titles, I think the list is pretty short.

 

But that holds true for most genres. The different themed comics just didn't exist until the late 1940s across the board. So the fact that Dell had a couple out in the early WWII era is pretty amazing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27,551 posts

Hi Shep. These are rather interesting War books. Very cheap to pick up and

interesting contents.

 

th_heroic18.jpgth_heroic20-vg.jpgth_heroic22VG-.jpgth_heroic25.jpgth_heroic29vg.jpg

Edited by thehumantorch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
8 8