Sunday, March 03, 2013

Number 1325: War is hell on the homefront

On the heels of our Pappy's Crime Wave week, we have yet another theme week. This one I’ve dubbed “War is hell on the homefront” week, and will feature stories that are set in America during 1942, the first year of direct involvement in World War II by the U.S. Starting us off is the first Supersnipe story, written and drawn by George Marcoux. There’s more about Marcoux in his previous appearance in Pappy's #1208. (In the backward way I do things that earlier posting is the second story of the series, so read this one first, then go to that one.)

As part of our war theme the story has young Koppy McFad, who adopts the secret identity of the costumed hero, Supersnipe, trying to catch black marketeers. The sitcom aspect of the strip makes more sense if you know that sugar, as well as other staples of everyday life in America (meat, gasoline, tires, among others) were rationed, and a buyer needed ration stamps to purchase. This created a booming criminal enterprise, selling stuff without stamps for high prices.

In those war years, also, scrap paper was needed, and kids were encouraged to collect it and turn it in. That meant millions of comic books were sacrificed to wartime paper drives, and the fact that as many survived as did is a wonder in itself. Or it could just be that collecting Dad's newspaper or his shirt cardboard was one thing, but throwing in comic books? Uh-uh. Had I been there I don’t think I could have parted with my comics, and apparently a lot of others felt the same.

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Funny story, especially when Guttersnip tastes the girl to see if she's actually hoarded sugar, but I'm puzzled about something. Unless I read it wrong--possible as I had to skim through this kind of fast due to limited computer time--in those first couple of pages, he really does foil some foreign spies. It's only afterwards that the make-believe adventures begin. You'd think they would have done it the other way around.