Friday, October 25, 2013

The Art Of War...

WeaponsMan has an excellent post up on the cartoonists of the Great War, and the topic called to mind something I'd seen during my recent travels.

There is a restaurant in Española, New Mexico by the name of El Paragua. If you look near the restrooms, by the stairs to the second-floor dining area, you'll see an empty picture frame on the wall. Step closer and you'll see why it's there:

Yup, sketched there on the bare stucco is none other than "Joe", famous cartoon World War II dogface, put there by New Mexico native Bill Mauldin himself.

19 comments:

Drang said...

That restaurant should be on the register of historical places.

og said...

That right there is pretty cool.

Robin said...

Wow, I will have to go see that.

Blackwing1 said...

Reading through "Up Front", even Mauldin said he had a hard time telling Willie and Joe apart. His key was the nose:

"Wille, big; Joe, little."

What a nifty thing to see in that place.

If you've ever read S.M. Stirling's "The General" series, did you catch some of the references to a few of Mauldin's cartoon captions? Including, "Sir, would mind inspiring us where you don't draw fire?"

Ygolonac said...

If you read Bill Mauldin's early-life autobiographies (A Sort of a Saga and The Brass Ring), he used to draw cartoons and caricatures as tradefodder or outright payment at stores and bars across the Southwest pre-WWII.

I expect he kept that up post-war, after he'd become famous, or at least to continue the tradition.

(I read those books and Up Front waaaay too many times as a kid.)

RabidAlien said...

LOVE Bill Mauldin's "Willie & Joe" cartoons! There's a collector 2-volume set that contains every one of his 'toons...I love my copy! Fell in love with his cartoons when I was a kid...read his name referenced in various Peanuts' "Snoopy the WW1 Flying Ace" comics, then saw the cartoon he did with Willie staring at a single pane of unbroken glass, surrounded by a bombed-out building. Joe is looking at Willie and says "Go ahead and break it, or yer gonna worry about it all night."

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

We all have our favourites...mine is the one about putting a broken Jeep out of its misery...with a .45.

Boat Guy said...

Next time through Espanola we'll make it a point to stop. Usually we're just blowin through.
Sent younger son a copy of "Up Front" while he was in Iraq to show him there was nothing he was seeing or doing that hadn't been seen or done before.

RandyGC said...

One of my favorite Maudlin cartoons is W&J in a foxhole as forward observers, with a Panzer (MK III IIRC) parked right on top of them

"Able Baker this is Able Baker 6. I've gotta target but you're going to have to be patient"

Robert Fowler said...

We had a cartoon in our comm shack at 4/11. It was two Marines, one a radio operator. The operator had a V/C by the collar and was holding up the handset. It said "it's my CO, You tell him how close you are". I wish I could remember who the artist was.

Drang said...

RE: The old cavalry sergeant putting the jeep out if it's misery, if you click the link the last link in Tam's post, it takes you to the Bill Mauldin website, where they sell that one on a t-shirt.

I recall Mauldin wrote that he re-did that one several times, and most just never "got" it.

Firehand said...

They've got a bunch of his original drawings at the 45th Div. Museum here in OKC

Murphy's Law said...

That's worth the visit right there.

Stingray said...

If you hang a left just past the hostess' station, there's a second wall-drawing of Willie in the little alcove there too.

Will said...

Well, since you brought up WWII, I just finished reading "A Hell of a War", by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Surprising story of his USN career.

Very self-deprecating telling of some very hazardous enemy engagements. Joined some months before Pearl Harbor, at the height of his popularity, and served until 6 months after VJ day. Spent a lot of time with British Commandos.
Knew important people: While on board the USS Washington in Scapa Flow, the ship was inspected by the British King, who stopped to shake his hand and ask what he was doing there, as he hadn't seen him since they had played golf 5 years earlier.

Awarded a number of medals. Was put in for the Navy Cross, but learned later that somebody in DC thought it would make the Navy look bad if they were seen to give such a high award to some movie person!

Hollywood was not happy he went to war.

Windy Wilson said...

I have "Up Front" and another about the post-war adjustment called (IIRC) "Back Home".
I remember each of the individual cartoons mentioned above, but the one that come to mind has Willie and Joe huddled in a foxhole at night while someone in a clean uniform stands nearby, smoking. He's turned to Willie and Joe and says, "It's alright, I'm a non-combatant."
His postwar cartoons, while still incisive, are, for some reason less memorable.

Robert Langham said...

When I was a kid we had a copy of "Up Front" which I read and re-read and re-read.

Anonymous said...

Robert Fowler:

That Marine cartoonist was/is Michael T. Hodgson , better known as "Sgt. Mike". His cartoons have been collected and are available on Amazon. I confess to being a fan of his during my time in.

Syeve

staghounds said...

"Back home" ought to be required reading for those who romanticise the World War II homecoming. Mauldin was ANGRY.

" The lieutenant got a little excited as he told the story. "I would like to trade that son of a bitch," he said, "and his whole goddam family, including all his first cousins and second cousins, and maybe his third cousins, for the life of any one of those kids I knew."

I would like to trade that son of a bitch," he said, "and his whole goddam family, including all his first cousins and second cousins, and maybe his third cousins, for the life of any one of those kids I knew." I couldn't help being a little amused at ...