Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Number 1017

Poison Ivan and Hotzki Trotsky

There's a reverse propaganda thing going on in this story by Simon and Kirby from Fighting American #3. The cartoon commies, Poison Ivan and Hotzki Trotsky, are spreading the "poison of propaganda" (Trotsky's words) to children, while Simon and Kirby are selling their own.

I find this jingoism entertaining as a cultural artifact of my growing-up years. We worried about communism in the 1950s, but I worried less about the ideological difference between governments than the threat of an atom bomb being dropped on my town. I first read the story in the mid-'60s Harvey reprint edition, and thought it was funny on a couple of levels, artistically and politically.

The story, classic Jack Kirby, is full of his dynamic artwork. The action panels are beauties.


Daniel [] said...

Kirby asserted that they had quickly abandoned in sincerity with the Fighting American, and were writing it for laughs, in which case this is more schtick than propaganda. But it really isn't that much different from some of what they'd been cranking-out ten years earlier.

Pappy said...

Daniel, there were quite a few laughs in Fighting American, and I find this story funny for being of its time.

I don't think it was the first time S & K had used a plot where adults sell children on a bad idea and an adult intercedes. They could have used Nazis or a gang luring the kids, Fagin-like, into crime, and the story would have worked.

HEH said...

Nice post. The scrolling viewer is new, yes? That was a nice surprise. Love it. Thanks, Pap for more cool comics.