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Willie & Joe: Back Home Hardcover – August 3, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Willie & Joe: Back Home + Willie & Joe: The WWII Years + Bill Mauldin's Army: Bill Mauldin's Greatest World War II Cartoons
Price for all three: $61.14

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993514
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 8.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“...Willie & Joe: Back Home… moved me... Mauldin is always funny, but those with a rosy image of WW II will be surprised by the complex world shown here... Fantagraphics has captured Mauldin's most enduring characters in two releases that do him justice.” (Michael Giltz - The Huffington Post)

“Mauldin's postwar panels in which Willie and Joe tried to readjust to civilian life... were somewhat controversial, but their chronicle of the duo's struggles and disillusionment might be enjoyed by anyone who's ever left the service to return to a life that seems both familiar and foreign.” (David Allen - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

About the Author

Born in 1921, Bill Mauldin squeezed several lifetimes into his eighty-one years. In addition to cartooning, he acted in Hollywood movies, ran for Congress, piloted airplanes, wrote several books and hundreds of articles, and won two Pulitzer Prizes, the first for his wartime cartoons. He died in 2003.

Todd DePastino is the author of Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America and Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, and the editor of the cartoon collections Willie & Joe: The WWII Years and Willie & Joe: Back Home. He teaches history and writes and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By xxgrendelxx on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This new hardcover collection of Willie and Joe's post-war experiences (as well as numerous topical cartoons) is a perfect match for your GI years set in size and style.

The cartoons are quite poignant as we witness homecoming through our protagonists eyes and feel their pain as they are accorded no special favors by their neighbors and the public once they've donned their civvies. The point has been raised of late that most soldiers of the Second World War did not have a "Times Square kiss" on return and the cartons in this edition spell it out. The experience just reading the comics would be painful were it not for Bill Mauldin's stoic humor.

My only disappointment with this volume is that the price and sales blurb sticker is actually affixed to the rear of the lovely cloth cover - something sure to weather and disintegrate as it is repeatedly pulled from your shelf over time. Why the book wasn't packaged in shrink wrap with this slip slid unattached beneath celophane is beyond me. Besides, it looks bizarre.

Yet, overall an outstanding value in terms of humor, history and cost. The world is a better place for Bill Mauldin's contributions and Fantagraphic's books provide a service to the public that is invaluable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob Bittick on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume begins with Willie and Joe in private life, covering the trials and difficulties of veterans returning from WWII. Likewise, this volume includes a number of Mauldin's political cartoons dealing with many American domestic and international issues of the day, especially the Red Scare, the KKK, war and peace, immigration, political attitudes, etc. Like Mauldin's WWII cartoons, this provides a unique history of the post-war life of many WWW II veterans, as well as a history of some of the attitudes of American's back home from Mauldin's viewpoint.

Some readers may be disappointed that many of the cartoons are not about Willie and Joe. Still, there are enough cartoons about their post-war life to make this volume worth purchasing. As such, this a good sequel to the compilation, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin - Vol. II, or to Bill Mauldin's Army: Bill Mauldin's Greatest World War II Cartoons.

As a university professor, many of my students include veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have shown Mauldin's compilation, Bill Mauldin's Army, to many of the Army veterans, noting that this is their heritage. From talking to such veterans, it appears that while Army life has changed since WWII, in many ways things haven't changed. Thus, Mauldin's compilations provide a connection between these veterans and their predecessors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The best correspondents of the Second World War were those that spent time at the front, they knew how things were and that the brunt of the fighting was being borne by a small percentage of the troops. Two of the best were writer Ernie Pyle and cartoonist Bill Mauldin and they were loved by the frontline troops. Pyle was killed by a Japanese machine gun in the Pacific, Pyle having admitted earlier that he was sick of seeing American boys destroyed and that he was close to a "war neurosis." Mauldin's two tired and dirty combat soldiers called Joe and Willie gave expression to the living conditions of the men that lived in constant danger. Mauldin was devastated by the news of the death of Pyle and it helped color his attitude towards the self-serving cynicism in the American society after the war.
Mauldin survived the war, bringing his experiences of the reality of the differences between the soldiers in peril versus those that manned the real echelon. Still a very young man when he came back to America, he did not like what he saw and he expressed that in his cartoons of what Joe and Willie experienced when they returned. Mauldin detested the pseudo-heroes that talked about their non-existent combat experiences and he hated the prejudice and ignorance that permeated the American society. His cartoons against prejudice, red-baiting, anti-veteran sentiment and all other postwar problems were often censored; Mauldin experienced a form of black-balling for the acidic reality of some of his cartoons.
This book contains cartoons drawn by Mauldin immediately after his discharge from the military and fortunately for the reader they are uncensored. While the modern reader will find them tame, those that understand the social context of the times will know how courageous Mauldin was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luke on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was born just after the period this covers, so it was educational. The thing that really struck me, though, was how prevalent all the same bigotry, false patriotism, and corrupt politics still are. It all seems worse now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This set of cartoons is a great addition to anyone's collection of Mauldin's work. I have all of the WWII Cartoons and I have seen many of Bill Mauldin's later editorial cartoons but most of the ones in THIS collection were new to me. Bill Mauldin addressed issues which were at the forefront in the United States following the war: veteran's affairs, housing, inflation, red-baiting, the United Nations... all things that Bill skewered with his skillful pen. Well worth getting!
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