When Uncle Sam called, the titans of comic publishing could not help but do their duty. In Comic Book History of Comics #3, we see what they created when the conflict stopped. Is it good?
Comic Book History of Comics #3 (IDW Publishing)
As many already know, a lot of our comic book real-life legends did their part during World War II, in various capacities. Joe Simon did public relation comics. Stan Lee made — what else? — anti-VD films for the Army. Will Eisner made equipment manuals more readable while Walt Disney essentially saved his flagging movie studio with all the ra-ra pieces he was commissioned.
Jack Kirby survived scouting out former Nazi strongholds so he could come home and answer love letters from teenage girls. Really. The King and Joe Simon, ever resourceful, kicked off the romance comic boom in 1947. Thanks to these, the few remaining spandex saviors like Superman, and the reinvigorated crime comics (for returning soldiers who had seen some shit) there were comics for everyone in the 1940s, with one in every three periodicals sold being a comic book.
But as we all know, all good things must end, and the title Crime Does Not Pay became too true when the Code came crashing down. It was a dark time for comics, both in content and in business. How will they recover, True Believers???
Is It Good?
Writer Fred Van Lente does another admirable job pointing out the major players in Comic Book History of Comics #3, and leading us on the winding road of the ever-changing industry. Artist Ryan Dunlavey and colorist Adam Guzowski continue to buttress Fred Van Lente’s words with complementary images, finishing punchlines end employing exaggeration for ease of retention.
Comic Book History of Comics #3 is a fine installment of the educational series, but it lacks a lot of the flourishes that made the first issue so engaging. The information is still good and presented well, so if you want a fun way to learn the rest of the story, this should remain your preferred source.