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Remembering Then and Now

I just read that the Sunday after next, Sept. 11th, the 10th anniversary of what we now call 9/11, the comics pages will look a little different. Strips from (nearly?) all the major cartoon syndicates will feature tributes to 9/11. On the Thanksgiving following 9/11 a similar effort was carried off, but this is supposed to be bigger.

This reminded me of 1942’s “United We Stand” campaign. In the aftermath of the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, Paul MacNamara, a publicist for Hearst publishing, had an idea. The next July the 4th, every magazine on America’s newsstands would have the American flag on its cover. The reasons were a mixture of patriotism and publicity.

You can read more about the project here. I also recommend the book that accompanied the exhibit at the Smithsonian. It's small, only 5 x 6 or so, but packed with about 100 illustrations ranging from widely-read titles like Popular Mechanics and Vogue to industry organs like Poultry Tribune.

A lot of magazines, like LIFE, just stuck a flag on the cover. The execution of the covers was left to each magazine. I don't think LIFE displayed much imagination.

Astounding Science Fiction didn't do much better. But, really, what were they going to do, put a Bug-Eyed-Monster on the cover waving a flag?

I like the simplicity of Farm Journal.

And even the comics got into the act.

But I think this is my favorite. Lovely art, and a clever interpretation of Red White and Blue.



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