November 8th, 2017

Ask A Cartoonist: Saluting our Vets!

by Tea

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating Veterans’ Day, so here’s our warmest wishes and many thanks to the vets who dedicated years of their lives to protecting others.

Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead:

My father was a WWII vet (and a career Army officer after then). I never really appreciated what he did “for a living” as a kid. I was too busy being rebellious. He volunteered for service the day after Pearl Harbor. What a guy. Here’s a page from my “invisible Ink” memoir. The “Alan” referred to is my Uncle, also a WWII vet (and still kicking at 93).

John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith:

A big, heartfelt thank you to all our Veterans! Happy Veterans Day! In the early 1940’s both Barney Google and Snuffy Smith joined the military in fictional form. Those military comic strips ran for several years. Barney joined the Navy and Snuffy was a yardbird in the Army. Since they were both “in” the military, I usually do a special Snuffy Smith comic strip like the one shown here for Veterans Day each year. Terry Dunn recently wrote a very interesting article that mentions Snuffy, Barney, Joe Palooka, Terry and The Pirates and more for titled “The Funnies In Uniform: The Role Of Comics during WWII.” You can read it at

Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey:

I had four years in the Army but I’m embarrassed to say I’m a veteran. I never got in a battle or fired a gun. The Army just sent me one place after another that educated me. I got a college degree in architecture, I went to officer’s school and became a Lieutenant, and went to Italy to become an Intelligence and Investigating Officer. The Army was more like a school to me. Most veterans fought in wars, got wounded or killed and are still suffering from their wounds or their emotions. I feel great compassion for those men andI feel we all owe them for risking the most valuable possesion we have…our lives. I try in my comic strip to show the soldiers trying to enjoy life and letting them feel your friendship. They deserve your appreciation. Thank you, veterans.

The Ketcham Team, Dennis the Menace:

Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix:

Dear Tea, I have started a project of illustrating my mom’s World War 2 stories. Here is a panel from one of those stories that will be published in a political comic book 


Although she was not a veteran in the traditional sense of the word, the fact that she helped her older brother in the resistance movement against fascism in Italy makes me think of her as a veteran. Here we are recently, presenting a chapter from one of the stories at Westchester Community College on October 11.

Jim Keefe, Sally Forth & Flash Gordon:

Here’s to my Dad, Richard Keefe (1925-1992) Part of Patton’s 3rd Army in World War II.


And here’s a video I made honoring the men who served with him in I-304-76.

Tom Armstrong, Marvin:

I’m sending you two cartoons. The first one is a Memorial Day MARVIN strip I drew a number of years ago featuring Marvin’s grandpa saluting those who’ve paid the ultimate price defending our freedoms.


The second is the most prized cartoon in my collection. It was drawn by my late father Ray (Marvin’s Grandpa Roy) during World War Two on a piece of cardboard. Early on my dad had ambitions of being a cartoonist but he eventually gave up his dreams during The Great Depression.

The day after Pearl Harbor my dad volunteered for the army. He was rejected because of his poor eyesight. Six months later he was drafted.

Besides the fact hat my dad drew the cartoon, it has added personal value to me because of the family history it contains. Before the war dad was a professional baby photographer. One day a young widow brought in her little daughter to be photographed. My dad and the woman dated a few times before the he entered the war.

This large cartoon my dad drew shows a caricature of himself as a soldier during the war year he spent in the Aleution Island snow and the New Guinea sun. The third part of the cartoon shows him imagining what his life would be like after the war. He’s driving a flashy convertible seated next to a lady who looks just like the young widow. When he DID return home he married the woman and adopted her daughter. A few years later that woman became MY mother and the girl my stepsister.

On this Veteran’s Day I salute my dad and all the other unrecognized heroes who sacrificed for our freedoms we enjoy!




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