Sunday, April 01, 2012
Number 1132: AMERICA UNDER COMMUNISM!
As I was preparing the scans for Is This Tomorrow, published in 1947 by the Catechetical Guild of St. Paul, Minnesota, I was visited by the ghosts of Lenin and Stalin. They were looking over my shoulders, reading as I cleaned up the scans. I didn't know they could read or speak English, but they were ghosts, so what do I know.
Lenin exclaimed, "No wonder our plans to take over America did not work, Comrade Stalin!"
"Da!" agreed Stalin. "Decadent American comic book gave exact plan of our plot to turn America communist!"
I scoffed. "C'mon, you guys...you think a famine, drought (or alternate spelling "drouth", as in the comic), and sneaking a few Reds in office would turn us Americans into commies? Dream on." The comic plays its conspiracy plot very broadly, depending on extraordinary circumstances like the President and Vice President riding in the same car, killed by a bomber. Even in 1947, as the comic states, that was against procedure. So I give this earnest effort to warn us about how the communists could take us over an F for credibility. But, this is a historic comic book nevertheless, produced at the beginning of the Cold War.
Stalin and Lenin were squabbling over why communism ultimately failed; I got perturbed and yelled, "You ectoplasmic pinkos get the hell out of my office!" and even without me having to conjure the ghost of Joe McCarthy, they left. Uncle Joe Stalin had a reputation for body odor and let me tell you, ghost or not, he was peeee-yewski.
They wouldn't have been interested in something about the comic that I noticed, that more than one artist worked on this book, and the artists had different levels of drawing skill. Also, the book used different letterers. The story is that Charles Schulz—yes, that Charles Schulz—did some of the lettering, and you can spot his distinctive style, which didn't change much over five decades. (The rounded "W" is a tell.)