Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

by Bill Mauldin

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The definitive collection of the complete WWII cartoons of the greatest cartoonist of the Greatest Generation, now in paperback.See more details below


The definitive collection of the complete WWII cartoons of the greatest cartoonist of the Greatest Generation, now in paperback.

Editorial Reviews

Todd Leopold - CNN
“Mauldin’s characters were bluntly honest: War was dirty, absurd, bitter hardwork.”
Laurel Maury - NPR
“These gritty, existential cartoons—everything Mauldin published during the war that still exists is compiled here—are the real deal and then some.”
Bob Greene - CNN.com
“Mauldin's drawings of his muddy, exhausted, whisker-stubbled infantrymen Willie and Joe were the voice of truth about what it was like on the front lines.”
Rob Clough - High-Low
“This collection of all of Mauldin’s World War II work stands out…a worthy platform for a series of brilliant strips drawn with a lively hand.”
David Mitchell - BiblioBuffet
“Willie & Joe is an extraordinarily compiled and presented tribute to Bill Mauldin, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who chronicled life in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1945. The set is bound in army green canvas and typeset in the font of an old manual typewriter, the kind an army clerk might have used during the Second World War. The collection is a sensory delight, pleasing to touch and beautiful to see. ... For the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, for the man who was once America’s most celebrated enlisted man, Willie & Joe is a fitting, and wonderful, tribute.”
Samuel M. Baker - ARMY Magazine
“This compilation of his cartoons helps bring Mauldin’s talent and his life at the front lines both to historians and a new generation.”
James Sturm - Print Magazine
“The cartoonist’s humanistic brush paints a sober picture of war that a newscamera can never achieve. These GIs resonate with real pathos; eachcartoon, however jocular, emanates weariness and resignation.”
Rick Kogan - Chicago Tribune
“[An] amazing and beautiful collection.”
Michael Giltz - The Huffington Post
“First and foremost, Willie & Joe are funny. …[I]t's an absorbing glimpse into the day to day life of soldiers while it was happening and the end not known. It's easy to identify with: employees in any capacity gripe about their bosses. But the more specific Mauldin is, the more biting and fascinating his work is.”
Steven Grant - Comic Book Resources
“Mauldin was arguably the greatest war correspondent of his day.”
Wesley G. Hughes - San Bernadino County Sun
“Cartoonist Bill Mauldin was a genius at bringing the experiences of World War II home to the moms and dads, kids, wives or girlfriends of the GIs on the front lines in a very human way. ... To my knowledge, none of our wars since has produced a chronicler anywhere near the greatness of Mauldin.”
Mark London Williams - The SF Site: Nexus Graphica
“[A] terrific two-volume collection of the legendary Bill Mauldin's 'GI Joe' cartoons from 'the last good war'... Fantagraphics gives us a comprehensive collection of the cartoons that fellow enlisted man Mauldin created during the war, both for civilians and fellow soldiers alike... [T]his compendium is both a great time capsule, and a fitting tribute to an American original.”
David Allen - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
“Many World War II veterans would surely appreciate seeing these strips again, and anyone who studies that conflict ought to be fascinated by Mauldin's unglamorous take on the drudgery, fear and absurdity of Army life.”
Jeff Salamon - The Austin American-Statesman
“There’s a sad wisdom on virtually every page here.”
Steven Heller - The New York Times Book Review
“Bill Mauldin was my first artist hero, and Willie & Joe: The WWII Years reminds me why.”
Steven Heller
Bill Mauldin (1921-2003) was my first artist hero, and a new two-volume collection of his wartime cartoons, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years, edited by Todd DePastino, reminds me why…The first volume comprises early works, including Mauldin's strip "Star Spangled Banter," which ran in The 45th Division News starting in 1940; the second and decidedly more impressive volume features "Up Front" panels from 1943-45.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Before becoming one of America's leading editorial cartoonists, Mauldin (1921-2003) first achieved national fame as a young artist during WWII, drawing his iconic pair of soldiers, Willie and Joe. This deluxe two-volume slipcased set, edited by Todd DePastino, collects all of Mauldin's extant wartime cartoons. Volume 1, "Homefront, 1940-1943," traces the teenage soldier's rapid development as an artist, imparting increasing realism to his original "cartoony" style, but these cartoons are unmemorable. Mauldin reaches greatness in the second volume, "Overseas: 1943-1945." Sent to Italy as a member of the 45th Division's press corps, Mauldin observed soldiers in the midst of war, and Willie and Joe emerged. The public image of the American soldier, fostered both by the armed forces and Hollywood, had been an actively heroic, handsome, clean-cut youth. In startling contrast, Willie and Joe, Mauldin's everymen at war, were unshaven and unkempt "dogfaces"; they characteristically slouched with weariness. While funny, Mauldin's cartoons were also darkly ironic. It was clear that Willie and Joe had been beaten down by both the tedium of army life and the overwhelming dangers of combat. Their heroism lies in continuing to survive despite the odds, and these cartoons retain their power and relevance. (May)

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Fantagraphics Books
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8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 2.20(d)

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