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A War Like Any Other . . . Or Nobler?

The Great War in the EC Comics

Jean-Matthieu Méon

The U.S. publisher EC Comics produced several war comics between 1950 and 1955. These comic books, especially the issues published during Harvey Kurtzman's editorship, are still considered masterpieces, as rare examples of war comics attempting to present an unvarnished account of the ordeals of war. This article focuses on the treatment of the Great War in comics. While current stories about the First World War usually underline its inhuman realities for the soldiers, the EC stories offered a more ambivalent representation. The now traditional stories of trenches and suffering infantry soldiers were counterbalanced by stories of heroic air fights and chivalrous aces. This approach towards the First World War as a 'noble war' progressively increased during the run of these comics, refl ecting the shifting balance that characterised the production of EC war comics: that between the constraints of the market, artistic ambition and the popular cultural mythology of air aces.

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Lise Tannahill, Eliza Bourque Dandridge and Rachel Mizsei Ward

thorough dissection of EC Comics’ doomed sci-fi tale Judgment Day! , which was published in 1953 at the height of the Wertham era. Sally McWilliams takes up Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie’s Aya in English translation (2007), arguing somewhat

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Nicholas Robinette

’ as a slander is suggestive of the public attitude at the time. 7 Otherwise, the particulars of the story – EC comics, agitated parents, Fredric Wertham – seem familiar. However, Barker uncovered political and cultural motivations quite different from