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Sunday, December 7, 2014

American Comic Book Propaganda Versus Japan - 10

Today is the 73 anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941 - the attack that finally got the US involved in WWII - over two years after it began. It was a good thing, I suppose, in that the US played a major role in ending the conflict on multiple fronts.

Here's the thing I have a problem with, however. Everyone says that the Japanese did a sneak attack on the American naval base of Pearl harbor in the Kingdom of Hawaii, then a protectorate of the US, but not an actual part of the US.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941."

Surprise attack.

I don't know how that can be possible - revisionist history or propaganda, perhaps, to rally the homefront against the Japanese. Don't believe it was NOT a surprise attack... that it was a surprise attack?

Evidence seems to say otherwise. Read my blog from yesterday HERE.

Now... let's look at some more propaganda... like the comic book pictured above. 

Okay... as far as American WWII propaganda against Japan, Germany and Italy (the infamous Axis powers and official bad guys of the last global war) goes, this one isn't as bad as some of the other comic books we've seen here in these 'pages.'

Even I've never heard of Supersnipe Comics... I don't even know what a 'supersnipe' is... some type of bird, perhaps?

This is Supersnipe Comics #8, published in 1943 by Street & Smith.

Forget about the hellish cover image for a second, and read the words on the cover.

"The boy with the most comic books in America"

"He reads'em, breathes'em and sleeps'em"

If I was a kid who liked comic books back in 1943, I might like this comic... it's like they were talking about me... I can't even begin to tell you how many times my parents described me as someone who 'reads'em, breathes'em and sleeps'em.'

Who is Supersnipe? I had to look him up, but he is Koppy McFad, the kid with the most comic books in America, who as one might suspect also has an awesome imagination.

He's just a kid that deals with kid stuff... homework, bullies, chores at home... but it is (1942-43, etc.) and so every time he turns on the radio (no TV's for people) or visits the movie theater, all he hears is stuff about the war...

How does Koppy McFad deal with the war? Why with his imagination, becoming in his mind the superhero Supersnipe and in this case dealing with America's enemies of Japan's Tojo Hideki (surname first), Germany's Adolph Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini by tossing them into pits of Hell to become playthings of Satan  - at least for this issue. 

Originally known as Army & Navy Comics, Supersnipe made his first appearance in issue #5 before the comic became known as Supersnipe Comics with issue #6. That must have been one heck of a first appearance!   

Even though Supersnipe Comics seems to have fallen off the comic book radar over the past 40 years (since I first began collecting) - or earlier, back in the 1940s it was quite a popular book, with the comic lasting from issue #6 (October 1, 1942) through to #49 (August 1, 1949)... a time when most superhero comic books were already on the wane.   

How popular was the comic? Well... Supersnipe was the first ever comic book character to have his adventures told in 32-page stories... back when others usually only had stories that were anywhere between six to 12-pages in length.

And yet... when his comic book ended in 1949, so did Supersnipe's appearances... never to appear again.

How sad... the death of a child-like imagination.

That imagination is what got me through seemingly endless years of being bullied... of hating school... of not having girls talk to me... of only having friends who were also bullies (still wouldn't trade those friends for any of those other jerks).

That imagination is what gets me through each and every single day of my life. It also has helped me create some 25 published comic book stories - so that's cool... plus the 2000+ blogs I've created here and in other forums.

Heck, don't even get me started on my short story creations!

I didn't even know it, but I was Koppy McFad! And while I wasn't Supersnipe, I wish I had that comic book around when I was a kid to encourage me to be a superhero.

I think the only other similar comic character(s) I can think of would be DC Comics Dial H For Hero... but it's not the same a Supersnipe. Winsor McKay's Little Nemo In Slumberland is close, but it's all dreams and no superheroes - though it is one of the most imaginative comic book creations ever.  

Okay... back to Supersnipe Comics #8 - check out Satan on the cover (that's his name within the story). He's the king of Hell and he's got on what is essentially a red asbestos diaper.

What an interesting comic book. Man... I bet you can smell the pits of hell... or certainly can smell the pages turning brown... 

Anyhow... as usual, this particular comic book is again the adults providing a bit of American propaganda against her enemies... something for the impressionable young mind to soak up.

Or... you can look at it another way, for those of you who believe in such things: Do evil things, and you'll wind up in Hell.

I wish Supersnipe was available when I was a kid. Imagine how much of an imagination I might have had then. I'll tell you what, I would make my kid read it. Sad to say, but his imagination isn't nearly as curious as mine... though maybe that's a good thing.  

Andrew Joseph

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