Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-07-25
- Reviewer: Staff
This time capsule is the second collection of Mauldin's cartoons from Fantagraphics, this time covering the post-World War II period of 1945-1946. Pulitzer Prize–winner Mauldin is best known for drawing foxhole-level realistic images of everyday soldiers Willie and Joe on the European front for Stars and Stripes. In this follow-up collection, the problem of "what do we do with them now that the war is over?" is apparent both in the explicit content of the single-page cartoons as well as Mauldin's struggles to find suitable subjects. The book would have been much improved with annotations for the images, explaining long-forgotten political arguments and names. The linework and chiaroscuro are amazing, but too often the subjects are of little to no meaning to modern readers, especially once Mauldin gets into the anti-Communist propaganda or forgotten foreign controversies of the time. Editor Todd DePastino's introduction, covering key events in Mauldin's life during the creation of these cartoons, is essential to comprehending some of the content, but other cartoons—such as those featuring forgotten veterans, lying politicians, or creeping consumerism—are universal. Best for those who already know Mauldin's skill and want more examples of his work with characters now out of infantry uniform. (Aug.)