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It’s November 11th. Tonight, We Welcome Our New Columnist, Major Ron. A 70-Year-Old Veteran Who Served in the Military

Major Ron is not only a 70-year-old Veteran, but he loves war comics!  We asked him a couple of months ago if he would be willing to review war comic books and he accepted to serve, naturally, like any good American would.  He basically came to the call of duty for our site.  Major Ron has sent us many articles, which we will be posting weekly.  But here, he introduces himself and his history with war and comic books.  We will begin posting Major Ron’s articles on a weekly basis this Tuesday, but for now, here he is introducing himself to our website:

Veteran’s Day honors all military Veterans. These are the people who served in the United States Armed Forces. It started on November 11, 1918, when World War I ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. The day was first called, Armistice Day, when it ended World War I, which was supposed to be “The War to End All Wars”. The day was later changed to Veterans Day in 1971.

Veteran’s Day gives us all a sense of solemn pride in the heroism of those who served our country. The date, November 11th, has great historical significance. It reminds us to focus our attention on the real purpose of Veteran’s Day. It is a celebration to honor American Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Veteran’s Day pays tribute to all Veterans living or dead, and gives thanks for their service in war and peacetime. No matter what our political feelings are, for one day of the year at least, we can all stand in respect for our Veteran heroes. We mark this day with parades and church services, and the American Flag is hung at half mast. Schools are closed, and it is a National Holiday.

What better way to honor our veterans than with the release of the “Art of War in Comic Books” on World’s Finest Geeks? War is a place to tell us about the human conditions of heroism, sacrifice, hatred , bigotry and death faced by our beloved Veterans. War comic books provided the perfect medium to combine the noble and the profane. So, on this 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we introduce the public to “The Art of War.” As you read our posts about the history of war comics, think about the true heroes of American Culture, our Veterans. Never forget them, and always continue to thank them for their service and sacrifice!!!!

In today’s market, comic books are dominated by superheroes. This even extends into the world of movies. However, over the years, other genres have enjoyed great popularity. One of these was the military or war genre. They began in the late 1930’s and exploded during World War 2. Tales of brave soldiers, battles, pain, suffering and sacrifice graced the pages of many of these comics. Many great comic artists and writers got their start writing and drawing these books. War comics can be very nostalgic and bring back many memories to the people reading them. Many superhero comics have their roots in war comic books. The military personnel in them were true real life heroes, not fake, made up characters.

In a series of articles, I will be examining the history of these comics and determine if they glamorized war or depicted the horrors of combat.  Did the books portray the truth of war without idealizing it?  Did the comic books portray any self professed anti-war or pro war slants? When I grew up in Herkimer, N.Y.  We had a small local variety store on our street. Like everyone else, I would buy my share of superhero comics and can proudly say that we had all of the great, first issue superhero comics like: Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and Avengers, etc. Oh,by the way, we only paid 10 cents each for them. Bad news, when I went in the Army, my mother gave all of the comics to our church Bazaar. OUCH.!!!! When my brother and I bought comics, the war books were always our first choice. We both had a great love of our history and our military. We played with little plastic soldiers from WW2 and the Civil War. We couldn’t wait for Monday to get our new war comic books. Back then, we would “trade” comics with our friends. This was a cheaper way to read all of the new books.

As the years passed by, all of my brothers and I went on to serve our country in the Military. My twin brother, Bob, was a true hero and Command Sergeant Major in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. I became a Major in the Army Reserve and my brother, Joe, served in the Air Force Bill went into the Army. I went on to become a History teacher and Special Education Administrator for 40 years. In future articles, I will focus on one particular war comic book each week to examine its impact on the comic book industry and why I feel each issue was important.

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