Comics For The People, By The People
By Richard L. Graham
Abrams ComicArts, $29.95, 303 pages
Comics have been used for a variety of things since their inception, such as spreading information and propaganda. Government Issue looks at the government’s use of comics to spread information on a variety of topics ranging from military equipment maintenance to civil defense preparation. There are all of the usual suspects, from famous comic strip stars to superheroes, even those made up for these comics. As well there is the occasional trivia on comics that were commissioned by various agencies. This is rounded out by military recruitment comics and other wartime comics.
This is a fascinating look at the history of government comic books and their role in history. Because of how comics present information, they have always been a popular form of education and entertainment, and it was just a matter of time before the government tapped into that. Although there could have been more selections, possibly more covers and interior art, the comics chosen are nicely representative of the genre. Also, there could definitely have been more text; it just seems that the information itself was skimped on. Nonetheless, this is a fine book for comic historians, as well as communications majors.
Reviewed By Jamais Jochim