From Robert Rudolph
Chairman of the San Francisco Chapter

Cartoons of the First World War

"WAACS" Our Amazon Corps, by Henderson, 1916

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Series One

      Unrehearsed Effect, by Sambourne [?], 1908
The Kaiser granted an interview with the Daily Telegraph in 1908 with the purpose of calming strained relations between Britain and Germany. He made comments to the effect that he was personally well disposed towards the British, but his people weren't. This produced a debate in the Reichstag and an embarrassment for the German Foreign Office.

      Forewarned, by Raven Hill, 1915
Zeppelin raids on Britain started in 1915. The artist seems to think that John Bull will shrug off the campaign from the air.

      Wilfully Stupid, by Walker, 1915
Another response to the Zeppelin raids - Civilization is lecturing the Kaiser about the distinctions between military and nonmilitary targets. If the Kaiser had been clever enough to coin such terms as "Collateral Damage" or "Regrettable, but Inevitable" he might have saved Germany considerable grief.

      Left Guessing, by Poy, 1915
Newspapers were instructed to publish no details of the track of the Zeppelin raiders.

Series Two

Frank King of Gasoline Alley fame was a staff artist rather than political cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. When the Tribune's chief political cartoonist John McCutcheon was sent on assignment to Europe, King was called on as a substitute. In these cartoons King comments on what he sees as the complacency of the United States with its miniature armed forces. In introducing the series, he wrote: "[Uncle Sam] had a hazy notion that his boasted prosperity may be leading him to fatty degeneration of the tissues."
      Playing Soldier, by Frank King
Here Aunt Polly [King's depiction of Congress] is telling Uncle Sam [the administration] who is carrying a broom labeled 'the volunteer system', "You look like a regular hero, Sam." Note the rabbit calling for peace at any price.

      Somebody Ought..., by Frank King
The artist is commenting on the penetration of the United States by both warring sides. Teddy Roosevelt as a bulldog is also shown chasing a tiny dog (the Army) and a little duck [the Navy] to encourage more activity from them.

      Tender-Hearted Aunt Polly, by Frank King
This time the dog and the duck (the military services) are being sheltered in the lap of politics. In his commentaryUncle Sam and His Pets, King wrote: "[Uncle Sam] was in favor of being on the safe side and was for feeding and exercising (the military services) and getting them into shape to put up some kind of scrap at least. But Aunt Polly said no."

      Brave Aunt Polly, by Frank King
The artist feels the German "submarine scare" is being addressed exclusively by political means. The little "naval" duck is watching the Germans, but doesn't appear large enough to do anything, while in the background a hog labeled "Pork" is swallowing the army's food. A "stuffed" rolling pin is a padded, false stage prop.

Demonizing the Hun
From THE CARTOON HISTORY OF BRITAIN. edited by Michael Wynn Jones, Macmillan, 1971.

American Preparedness
King's cartoons were reprinted in the magazine NEMO, CLASSICS COMICS LIBRARY, #19, June, 1986.

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