Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sleestak reviews: Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front

Oh, hey there! Just kicking back today reading the biography of illustrator, reporter, screenwriter and actor Bill Mauldin my pal Bully sent me.

Bill Mauldin is probably best known for his World War 2 editorial cartoons in which he commented on the conflict via a couple of weary, bemused average soldiers named Willie and Joe. One of his creations would become to be known as "G.I. Joe" and inspired a name and image that carried over into the public consciousness and even into products that exists in vastly different form to this day.

As a cartoonist, soldier and later as a civilian Bill Mauldin routinely attacked the Brass, fellow soldiers, the political system and was known to hold held grudges that lasted for years. Gen. Patton disliked him for what he perceived was a negative effect on morale via his cartoons. War Hero Audie Murphy disliked him. He was both respected and disliked immensely, threatened with jail and probably worse for his views and commentaries. He was a trickster and a troublemaker. He made friends and enemies with equal fervor. One story he wrote was considered controversial enough that publication was delayed until he after he was returned to civilian life.

As a fan of illustration who enjoys glimpses into the minds and lives of creators, Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front by Todd DePastino is a good read. Drop a line to Bully and he can tell you where to get your own copy.


  1. Hello Sir, I am curious as to why
    Audie Murphy despised Bill Mauldin?
    Were they having some kind of fued
    going on between them? If so, how
    and when did it happen and is there
    any particulars printed on it anywhere. The reason I ask is, as
    you know, Both Mr.Mauldin, and Audie starred in "The Red Badge of
    Courage" together. This was a film
    directed by John Huston and I believe was filmed in Chico, California in 1950. I have read a lot about Audie Murphy and have never come across any mention of this. So if you can enlighten me
    I sure would appreciate it.
    Mrs. Shirley J Paulk

  2. On the subject of Sleestak, you've seen this, right?


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