Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Muck!-War Comics-1952

From the period where Stan Lee's Atlas war comics were mimicking former Timely artist Harvey Kurtzman's anti-war war comics from EC, here's a wonderfully atmospheric and yet unsigned tale of Korea while it happened.


  1. Steve,
    Ger Apeldoorn attributes the job #9979 art to John Romita.
    Hope this helps!

  2. Thanx! Taking a close look, I think he's probably correct! Romita's early work--by his own admission in an interview I recently transcribed--was highly Caniff-influenced and this certainly seems to be that.

  3. The work on Atlas Tales was done over a period of time and it combined the research and lists of many. But opinions were debated and did shift over time. And sadly some attributions were left at their earliest guess. I don't know where I got the Romita attribution and it. Seems plausible, but if I look at it now all I can see how much the figures look like the work of Werner Roth, who never signed (contrary to Romita, who did often sign). Still, great story and exemplary of many of Lee and Don Rico (who edited some of the war books)'s style. And again I have to disagree with you Steven, I see no response to Kurtzman's war books here. Whereas Kurtzman tried to shed a nuanced and liberall light on the war, never getiing into anti-war territory but sometimes dangerously (for the time) close, Timely's war books were always deeply conservative, anti-communist, convenced of the need of a war, but also deeply depressed about the cost of war on a personal level. Especially in the case of the workof Hank Chapman, they seemed to have been written by someone who was still suffering from a post war trauma. Where Kurtzman tried to highlist the common man, often showing how individual soldiers were doing good things, Chapman almost always wrote stories where the hero had to die in the end. I find them hugely fascinating, one of them asks the question if it wouldn't be better to throw an atomic bomb on Korea and be done with it, one has the hero kill himself with hIs own bajonet rather than being captured and tortured. They show a side of the war I hadn't seen yet, convinced of the need, but very very bleek about the cost.