Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid drawing attention to backlist books you might have missed or are worthy of another read. This time we’ll break with tradition and look at the recent title, Take That, Adolf!: The Fighting Comic Books of the Second World War, edited by Mark Fertig.
Art historian Mark Fertig explores the geopolitical underpinnings of World War II through the colorful covers of Golden Age comic books. With surprising sophistication, these images reflect the complexities of that global conflict. Chapters on Building Towards War, She Can Do It!, Pulling Together, Kids Can Fight Too!, In Der Führer’s Face!, and The Birth of Captain America provide a perfect context for the patriotic comic books of the era. The iconography of this imagery remains breathtaking. The seminal creations of American masters like Jack Kirby, Walt Kelly, C. C. Beck, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, L.B. Cole, Lou Fine, Joe Simon, Reed Crandall, and many others played an important role in fighting fascism in the forties. Given our current political climate, this approach to comics seems suddenly relevant.
Take That Adolf! and other critical volumes on the legacy of political activism in comics are available at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s historic Georgetown industrial arts corridor. Open daily, 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-557-4910.