Archive for Bill Mauldin

The Greatest Generation

Ohh, if only I weren’t quite so broke…


That, if you can’t see it clearly from the pic, is a hardcover slipcase edition of Bill Mauldin’s classic “Willie and Joe” cartoons from World War II. Specifically, “Willie and Joe: The World War II Years”, published by the always comic-loving Fantagraphics Books. Costs $65. That’s sixty-five smackers, and it actually looks like it should cost even more. That’s one fine looking book. Actually, I’m not even sure where I’d put that. I doubt I’ve got a bookshelf in my whole house that’s large enough to hold that monster.

Mauldin is a cartoonist I’ve been interested in for years. He was born in Mountain Park, New Mexico, a very tiny town in the very scenic Sacramento Mountains in the southern part of the state, which is an area I used to love vacationing in when I was a kid. Mauldin was a soldier during WWII and started drawing cartoons of a couple dogfaces called Willie and Joe. They were real popular with his fellow soldiers ’cause the cartoons didn’t sugarcoat Army life and weren’t real sweet on the brass either. The cartoons got syndicated after Ernie Pyle mentioned them in one of his columns. I’ve heard that Eisenhower enjoyed them, even though Mauldin tweaked the officers a lot, but Patton was generally infuriated by them.

Mauldin picked up a couple of Pulitzers and a Reuben Award for editorial cartooning, and he even appeared in a couple of movies.

Here’s one of Mauldin’s cartoons — I stumbled across it after getting completely soaked in a downpour this morning, so I thought it was pretty appropriate.


“Now that ya mention it, it does sound like the patter of rain on a tin roof.”

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