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Comic Strip: Willie And Joe
Originally written for the 45th Infantry Division's paper, the comic was eventually picked up by Stars and Stripes after the division was sent to Europe to fight in World War II. Mauldin was eventually moved to full-time staff at the magazine, and was given a Jeep to tour the front and make comics about his experiences.

After the end of the war, the comics were collected in the best-selling Up Front, and Mauldin became the youngest man in history to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He turned to political cartoons, but was forced by popular demand to return to the Willie and Joe characters, placing them back home trying to readjust to civilian life. From then on, the characters were occasionally revisited during the Korean and Vietnam war, with the final comic coming in 1998 at the request of Charles Schultz, published in Peanuts for Veteran's Day.

Willie and Joe contains examples of:

  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Military regulations were often parodied, particularly the insistence on spit-shine uniform cleanliness for soldiers fighting in the trenches.
    • Mauldin was called on the carpet by General Patton because soldiers were imitating his characters' undisciplined appearance. He was rescued by Eisenhower, who felt that the comics' effect on morale was more important.
  • Boot Camp Episode: The first three years of the strip, which Mauldin started in 1940.
  • Combat Medic: Mauldin depicted the hardships of their work, especially in the rugged terrain of Italy, and brought attention to their low salaries:
    Ya don't git combat pay 'cos ya don't fight!
  • The Engineer: "Yessir, B Comp'ny broke another bridge-buildin' record. A kraut company is retreating across it!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: The caption to one comic describes the "fresh, spirited troops bringing in ragged, battle-weary prisoners". Both groups look equally tired and about to pass out on their feet.
  • Mildly Military: Essentially a real-life example. The front-line troops often became very lax about cleanliness/grooming regulations, as well as discipline. The classic (though slightly subtle) example is Willie and Joe playing cards with their CO, who looks as rough as they do, asking him "By the way sir, what wuz them changes you wuz going to make when you took over last month?"
  • Military Moonshiner: A soldier busily adjusts a still, as an officer looks on. The officer comments:
    Hell of a way to waste time. *beat* Does it work?
  • Mook: The comics focus squarely on the "dogfaces" of the army.
Unknown SoldierMilitary and Warfare ComicsAir Force Blues

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