World War II in Cartoonsby Mark Bryant
This book is divided into chapters covering the war year-by-year, each
Whether producing strips, social comment in magazines like Punch or Lilliput, savage caricature of allies and enemies, or a daily chronicle of events at home or abroad, little escaped the cartoonists pen during World War II and they encapsulated the great dramas in a way impossible in prose.
This book is divided into chapters covering the war year-by-year, each chapter prefaced with a concise introduction that provides a historical framework for the cartoons of that year. Altogether some 300 cartoons, in color and black and white, have been skillfully blended to produce a unique record of World War II.
- Grub Street
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- 9.75(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.50(d)
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It is difficult today to imagine the issues of war, sacrifice, slaughter, and redemption being conveyed by simple, drawn lines. And yet there once was such a time, and we are fortunate that the art of the cartoon reached its zenith during the greatest conflict in our history. In his World War II in Cartoons, Mark Bryant has assembled a collection of more than 300 of the best cartoons from that era. Bryant has chosen cartoons published in the Allied and Axis countries, with the majority of the works coming from England. Bryant has selected well. He gives us a wide sampling of the various types of cartoons-some not humorous at all, some very light, all provocative-as well as the many styles of drawing. Throughout, he succinctly explains the context of each drawing. He is adept at pointing out small details which otherwise might be overlooked by the modern reader. Although Bryant does not comment on the relative standing of the artists, it is clear that the most accomplished of the wartime illustrators was David Low (later Sir David Low). Bryant has selected more of Low's drawings than of any other cartoonist, and it is easy to see why. No one was better than Low in summing up the moral stakes of a given situation. His three drawings of the Nazi defendants at Nuremburg are masterpieces in the study of the banality of evil. No collection of World War II cartoons would be complete without American Bill Mauldin, whose most famous drawings are included in this collection. Also included is the haunting image drawn by Clarence D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News in 1936, of Death dressed as a prostitute enticing a young man upstairs to her room. 'Come on in,' she says to the boy, 'I'll treat you right. I used to know your daddy.' By assembling these cartoons-the best of which become art-Bryant has done much to remind us of how issues could be powerfully presented in a small, simple frame. I don't think he-or anyone-can now rescue this art form, but he has done us all a great service by showing what was done during the great blood letting of the last century.