The Comic Art of War

A Critical Study of Military Cartoons, 1805–2014, with a Guide to Artists


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About the Book

For military cartoonists the absurdity of war inspires a laugh-or-cry response and provides an endless source of un-funny amusement. Cartoons by hundreds of artists-at-arms from more than a dozen countries and spanning two centuries are included in this study—the first to consider such a broad range of military comics. War and military life are examined through the inside jokes of the men and women who served. The author analyzes themes of culture, hierarchy, enemies and allies, geography, sexuality, combat, and civilian relations and describes how comics function within a community. A number of artists included were known for their work with Disney, Marvel Comics, the New Yorker and Madison Avenue but many lesser known artists are recognized.

About the Author(s)

Christina M. Knopf is an assistant professor in Communication Studies at the State University of New York at Cortland. She is the author of many chapters and articles on comics and the representation of war, the military and veterans.

Bibliographic Details

Christina M. Knopf
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 37 illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9835-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2081-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface: Recon 1
Introduction: Vocabularies of the Visual-Verbal 5
1. GI Joking: Military Humor and Graphic Narratives 21
2. Service Before Self: Military Life 41
3. Kiss My Brass: Military Hierarchy 60
4. Frenemies: Friends and Foes 73
5. Drawn Behind the Lines: Military Geography 91
6. Sex(es) in Battle: Gender and Sexuality 106
7. Drawing Fire: Combat and Casualties 126
8. Sillyvillians: ­Civil-Military Interactions 138
Conclusion: SITREP—The Military’s Rhetorical Vision 153
Appendix: Comicography 163
Notes 179
Bibliography 221
Index 241

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