This is the 155th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
These are far more than a couple books of cartoons. The contents of these books are a documentary of the ground soldiers’ life in European theater World War Two. It’s both humor and insightful criticism. Most of all, these are well worth reading.
Willie and Joe, The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin [Fantagraphics 2011 large soft cover]. This is 692 pages of Mauldin’s work just before and during WWII, when he served in the Infantry, 45th Division, mostly as a staff member of one military newspaper or another. The cartoons express the reality of soldiers on the ground in the war in Italy and Germany, as opposed to the “reality” of the Army publicity departments shown back home in the U.S. As such, there was a lot of criticism on the part of some. Patton loathed Mauldin and his cartoons, said it was bad for morale. Eisenhower liked the cartoons, saying the dose of reality was what was needed. Whatever opinion then or now, the drawing and humor make this and the following book well worth a look.
Willie and Joe, Back Home by Bill Mauldin [Fantagraphics 2011 oversized hardcover]. Comments on the above book apply here, except this is the way Mauldin and many G.I.s returning home found the reality of returning to civilian life. Funny, sad, engaging and sometimes anger-inducing, these are political cartoons of the finest caliber.