For more information about each book (or to order them individually), click the titles below.
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (Hardcover / Softcover)
During WW II, the closest most Americans ever came to combat was through
the cartoons of Bill Mauldin, the most beloved enlisted man in the U.S. Army.
This giant, comprehensive collection
brings together Mauldin’s complete works from 1940 through the end of the
war under one cover. This collection of over 600 cartoons, most never before
reprinted, is more than the record of a great artist: it is an essential chronicle of America’s citizen-soldiers from peace through war to victory.
Bill Mauldin knew war because he was in it. He had created his characters,
Willie and Joe, at age 18, before Pearl Harbor, while training with the 45th Infantry Division and cartooning part-time
for the camp newspaper. His brilliant send-ups of officers were pure infantry, and the men loved it. Mauldin’s cartoons
and captions recreated on paper the fully realized world of the American combat soldier.
Willie & Joe is edited by Todd DePastino, Mauldin’s official biographer. Willie & Joe contains an introduction and running
commentary by DePastino, providing context for the drawings, pertinent biographical details of Mauldin’s life, and
occasional background on specific cartoons (such as the ones that made Patton howl).
Download and read a 30-page PDF excerpt (2.7 MB).
Willie & Joe: Back Home
Product details and specs are subject to change. Stay tuned to Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog for updates and sneak peeks.
In the summer of 1945, a great tide of battered soldiers began flowing back
to the united States from around the globe. Though victorious, these exhausted
men were nevertheless too grief-stricken over the loss of comrades, too guilt-ridden
that they had survived, and too numbed by trauma to share in the country’s
euphoria. Most never saw a ticker-tape parade, or stole a Times Square
kiss. All they wanted was to settle back into quiet workaday lives without fear.
How tragic that the forces unleashed by World War II made this simple wish
Willie & Joe: Back Home brilliantly chronicles the struggles and disillusionments of these early postwar years and, in
doing so, tells Bill Mauldin’s own extraordinary story of his journey home to a wife he barely knew and a son he had only
seen in pictures. The drawings capture the texture and feel, the warp and woof, of this confusing time: the ubiquitous
hats and cigarettes, the domestic rubs, the rising fear of another war, and new conflicts over Civil Rights, civil liberties,
and free speech. This second volume of Fantagraphics’ series reprinting Mauldin’s greatest work identifies and restores
the dozens of cartoons censored by Mauldin’s syndicate for their attacks on racial segregation and McCarthy-style “witch
hunts.” Mauldin pleaded with his syndicate to let him out of his contract so that he could return to the simple quiet life
so desired by Willie & Joe. The syndicate refused, so Mauldin did battle, as always, through pen and ink.
Download and read a 20-page PDF excerpt (1.5 MB) with strips from 1945 and 1946.