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Comics with a military theme.

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Sad Sack was created by Sgt. George Baker and debuted in the May 1942 issue of "Yank Magazine", the U.S. Army weekly.

Sad Sack comics sold well in Australia.

The unfortunate draftee was the first permanent feature of the new weekly. 

The character proved to be so popular for servicemen and the public-at-large, that two hardback collections were published by Simon and Schuster. 

The strip also appeared in the Sunday comics of civilian comics and made a one-shot appearance in "True Comics" #55, December 1946, which turned out to be Sad Sack's first comic book appearance.

During this time, Baker's Sad Sack caught the eye of Alfred Harvey. The two men met, became friends and eventually drew up an agreement for Harvey Comics to publish a regular comic book in 1949. 

This time, as in the Sunday comic strip, the adventures of Sad Sack showed our hero as a civilian. 

This idea did not last because when the Korean War broke out, Sad Sack reenlisted in a story entitled, "The Specialist", in issue #22.
Suddenly, Sad Sack's popularity soared and "Sad Sack Comics" became one of the first to be published monthly. This popularity led to a live-action firm called "The Sad Sack", in 1957, starring Jerry Lewis. 

This feature was loosely-based and really just another vehicle for Lewis' crazy antics.

 This was not Sad Sack's first appearance outside the printed page, as Mel Blanc starred as Sad Sack in a short-lived radio show during World War II.

By the mid-50s, other artists like Fred Rhoads, Jack O'Brien, Paul McCarthy and Joe Dennett turned their pens to writing and drawing the further exploits of America's beloved army man.

George Baker continued to illustrate virtually all of the covers up until his death in 1975. Rhoads is probably the artist most-associated with the character in the comic books. He drew the drawing at the top of this page and passed away in 2000.

Sad Sack, like most other popular Harvey characters had his share of spin-off titles, such as "Sad Sack and the Sarge" and "Sad Sad Sack World". The "Sad Sack Comics" series had the longest continuous run of all Harvey Comics produced. 287 issues were produced from 1949-1982.

From Meet Sad Sack

  • Most comics were American but there was also a local production.

Sergeant Rock was another popular American comic book series sold in Australia.

In the era of the Viet Nam War the American Army decided to make it's instructional books (called pamphlets or pams) in the comic book fashion in the belief that the average draftee would find them easier to read and comprehend. These were issued 1 July 1969 to the US troops in Vietnam.

They had characters like 'Sarge' using terms like "For you M16A1 ZAPSTERS here are some numbah one PM suggestions to keep you Go-Go!"

The comic style was used because of the perceived lower intelligence or reading skills of the average American GI.

The Australian Army never did, for several reasons. Our troops had a higher level of education. Our army provided a much higher and more comprehensive level of training before troops were sent overseas. Pamphlets were used mainly by instructors to ensure a standard level of training; they were not handed to the troops. Troops were given "hands on" training, not a book.

A significant part of Australian Army training includes the ability to field strip and assemble (reduce to it's component parts, lay them down in a particular order and then reassemble the weapon all while blindfolded and within a time limit) of EVERY weapon the soldier might be called on to use.

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & Captain Marvel all heard the "call to arms".

Superman Joins The Army Batman & Robin sell War Bonds to insure 4th July


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