Joe Dope’s 1955 appearance (in this instance) as a paragon of sartorial propriety drips with Eisnerian irony, foreshadowing Joe’s quiet departure a few months later from the ranks of the U.S. Army and the pages of PS during 1956 “in the best interests of the military service,” and “in furtherance of good order and discipline.”
Both covers are presented (below) for your side-by-side analysis. The varying approaches to the detailing in the wreaths and styling of the street-light fixtures have evoked comments by some observers.
It’s a safe bet that my awareness of the tensions of the times in 1955 has an overarching influence on my comparative reaction to the Eisner version. His four characters seem to me to be static, staid, and constrained. A bit more movement is sensed with Joe’s group, especially with the hoe-down fiddle stance that Kubert gave to Half-Mast, as compared to the concert hall pose that Will provided for him.
Taking on Will's 1955 cover was a challenge I had no choice but to accept. The PS editorial staff at Redstone Arsenal gave an order, and that was that.
I set out not to copy Will's drawing style, but to get the sense of warmth (despite the wintry snow) and animation that he achieved. The humanness of the characters. The life-like qualities that master cartoonist could convey.
I borrowed the layout and the composition and went to work. The result only made me appreciate all the more the abilities of the guy who did it all, over fifty years ago.
¶ Video: Joe Kubert at PS 60th Anniversary Celebration
¶ Video: Colonel ‘Pat’ Sullivan, Head of PS’s Home Command
¶ Video: Lieutenant General Via Salutes PS Program
¶ Video: Fitz Tells About Early PS, ‘Back in the Day’
¶ Best of PS by Perspective Instructional Communications
¶ Joe Dope Meets Beetle Bailey in PS
¶ A Covey of Connies—World War II to Today
¶ Wrap-Up: A Wonderful Year of Celebration
We initiated this blog, The Best of PS Magazine 1951-2011, in February of 2011, promising you a “year-long salute” to PS during its Sixtieth Anniversary Year. We hope to fulfill that pledge by completing presentation of the projected postings listed above, prior to the end of March 2012.