Up Front, 50th Anniversary Edition

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9780393030532: Up Front, 50th Anniversary Edition
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A collection of the work of cartoonist Bill Mauldin reflects his experiences as an enlisted man, in cartoons that capture the humor, boredom, and horror of the common soldier's daily life

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Review:

Throughout World War II, cartoonist Bill Mauldin documented the adventures and misadventures of dogfaces Willie and Joe, symbols of the hard-pressed infantry, "the group which gives more and gets less than anybody else." In Up Front, recently reissued as a 50th-anniversary volume, Mauldin joins an absorbing narrative account of just how hellish combat is to a selection of those cartoons. Reading through this powerful book, one sees why Mauldin, in demythologizing the war, was often accused of undoing the efforts of the morale officers and politicians who assured the home front that our boys were having a fine time of it in Europe. No, Mauldin replied through Willie and Joe, our boys are being maimed and killed every day. For his honesty, the troops loved him -- and Mauldin loved them= back.

From Booklist:

Reprised here is the classic saga of Willie and Joe, Mauldin's GI "dogfaces" who slogged their way through cartoons set in Italy and France. For frontline black humor, the pair's war-weary image--slouched shoulders, dented helmets, torn uniforms, month-old beards, booze bottle in hand--combined with Mauldin's starkly angular, expressionistic shading and mordant captions yielded an ineffable effect matched by no other illustrator in World War II. He drew them originally for Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Army's newspaper, and many a picture annoyed top brass who wanted to censor him for tweaking the officers' nai{‹}vete{‚}about combat or their privileges in rear areas. He wrote the text for folks back home, explaining the background of incidents inspiring his black-and-white palette, and trenchantly sketched out the character of the average infantryman fighting the great crusade. To dogfaces, talk of the "cause" was alien; surviving was the only form of winning. Mauldin's book epitomizes their war. A time-proven and memorable contemporary piece. Gilbert Taylor

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