Tag Archives: wwII

Mickey Mouse in the Gurs Internment Camp

There was once an internment/refugee camp in France that went by the name of Gurs. During WWII, after France joined up with the Nazis, Camp Gurs became home to non-French Jews and other “dangerous” people. Although this was a concentration camp, and obviously not a nice place to live, the people within Gurs were able to create for themselves a community that thrived on the arts. One prisoner, named Horst Rosenthal, created a couple of comic works before his death. One was titled “A Day in the Life of a Resident: Gurs Internment Camp, 1942”. I can’t find much about this one, but the other one, which a lot of people seem to love, is called “Mickey Mouse in the Gurs Internment Camp – Published without Walt Disney’s Permission.” Here are some panels:

you can read more about it in a paper titled: Mickey Mouse in Gurs – Humour, Irony and Criticism in Works of Art Produced in the Gurs Internment Camp.


via Boing Boing, Scribd, and Disney History.

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National Game Registry 1985: 1942

United States Library of Congress

key personnel
Yoshiki Okamoto
original platform
arcade (1984, Capcom)

Only in the world of video games could a Japanese company immortalize the Americans’ retaliation following the Pearl Harbor attack. The Super Ace fighter plane’s immodest objective is to reach Tokyo and destroy the entire Imperial airfleet. This “one-plane airforce” is a common theme in scrolling shooter games but 1942 sets itself apart with extremely balanced gameplay and a real, historical situation as opposed to the then-cliche space shooter scenario.

1942 was inducted on May 25th, 2009.

Return to the National Game Registry to view more inductees.

“Master Race” by Bernie Krigstein


Bernie Krigstein is an unknown figure, even to most comic art devotees. I’ve been reading comics and books about comic history for most of my life, and sadly have only the most cursory knowledge of the man’s work. Most of what I do know comes from mentions made by Frank Miller acknowledging the mammoth influence Krigstein had on him. He was only in comics for less than a decade but during that time, and especially during his tenure with E.C. Comics, he experimented with a style based in gritty noir that was decades ahead of its time in how comics could be created, in its subject matter and pacing.

Even though his time at E.C. led to his most acclaimed work, he was still under the strict confines of his editors, who routinely changed his artwork and wouldn’t let his stories go over eight pages. The only time Krigstein was allowed to do a story exactly as he envisioned it was in the pages of “Impact”, a short-lived anthology title mostly made up of twist-ending shockers. Tucked away at the very back of the first issue of “Impact!” was “Master Race”, which, admittedly, could also be classified as a twist-ending shocker, with a major difference: It dealt explicitly with The Holocaust, something that was barely seen in mainstream media at the time, let alone in a comic book.

Taken from Wikipedia:

“When EC published “Master Race” in 1955, there was little in the mass media about the murder by the Nazis of millions of Jews, Gypsies, political oppositionists and homosexuals. The images of crowded gas chambers, mountains of corpses piled like cordwood, and smoke from the burning bodies continuously spewing out of tall chimneys had not yet established themselves in the public consciousness. The material was there, however. You just had to look for it. Margaret Bourke-White‘s Life magazine photograph of almost-dead staring faces behind barbed wire — shot at the evacuation of a concentration camp) at the end of World War II — was sometimes reprinted. This now-familiar photo is echoed in page four, panel five of “Master Race,” as well as in Art Spiegelman‘s 1972 version of Maus (in his book Breakdowns). Five Chimneys: The Story of Auschwitz, a harrowing account by Olga Lenyel, a death camp survivor, was published in 1947. Eugen Kogon’s Theory and Practice of Hell, detailing the horrible workings of the German death camps, was published in 1950. The facts began to surface about the incredible numbers murdered and the cold-blooded, single-minded efficiency with which it was done. Many Americans began to discuss the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, but most just found it all too hard to believe. Krigstein’s “Master Race” was therefore an exceptional undertaking. As their contribution to the anti-German propaganda effort, wartime movies and comic books had shown concentration camps and Nazi brutality. But never had they shown the death camps (as distinct from concentration camps) and the unique atrocities such as “medical” experimentation on living people… Krigstein’s piece didn’t spare the sensibility and complacency of the postwar reader. On page four, panel seven, ordinary citizens cover their noses with handkerchiefs against “the stinking odor of human flesh burning in the ovens… men’s… women’s… children’s…” Book burnings, mass live burials, a quiet clinical scene of an operation on a human guinea pig — “Master Race” starkly depicts the madness of the Nazi period in Germany as well as the burning vengeance inspired by these unspeakable crimes.”

It’s really a shame that Krigstein wasn’t given more control over his work, because if “Master Race” is anything to go by, the results would have been absolutely phenomenal. I’m excited to read the art book of his work published by Fantagraphics, in conjuction with a volume of his selected comics work. As for “Master Race”:

“Master Race” (Impact, No. 1, March/April 1955)


Things That Are Completely Irrelevant #48X: The Incredible Hypocrisy That Is Israel

The last post, along with all the silly Israel stuff this week, has forced my hand. It’s time to talk about Israel. And it’s time to be honest about Israel.

I’m not a fan of the culture of the Middle East. I don’t wish ill will toward anyone but I’m not terribly sympathetic to a region of the world where the most common solution to a rape is for the victim’s brother to kill her in order to restore the family’s honor. I laugh at a region where playing a sport resembling polo but using a headless goat corpse as the ‘ball’ is commonplace. I do not respect a regional culture that allows people to be killed because of their religion.

In the middle of all that, or tucked on the left side, anyway, is little ol’ Israel, full of people from outside of the Middle East. These fellas don’t have many of the faults I just pointed out about their neighbors but they do have one pretty big fault: the only problem is they just moved there 60 years ago, took their land by force (with help from UK and USA), and have held onto that land – by force. Worse yet, they have rounded up the people that were already living there at the time and told them they can live in these two small areas on the outskirts of the country where poverty, unemployment and crime persist. This group of people have to pass through heavily armed checkpoints if they want to travel into the mainstream sections of Israel. If they work in the “mainland” they have to be back in their shithole by a certain time.

We call this apartheid.

And occupation.

And we are huge hypocrites.
(Insert pompous statement here)

The whole world bent over backwards to condemn South Africa for their apartheid. Everyone loves to bash China for their occupation of Tibet. So why the fuck is what’s happening in Israel okay? And why are Republicans so dead set on supporting Israel no matter what? It’s because the whole fucking thing is our fault. Sure, WWII was Germany’s fault. Everyone felt bad for the Jews, QUITE REASONABLY. But no one, NO ONE, would actually set aside any of their land for this downtrodden group of people. And after we crushed Germany following WWI we were so afraid of crushing them into bitter people all over again that we really coddled those fucks after WWII. What horseshit. A chunk, a LARGE chunk, of Germany and Italy should have been taken and handed over to the Jews. With a big buffer zone around it, to be eventually lifted at the discretion of the Jews.

Instead we swept everything under the rug when Britain, exerting their colonial muscle over much of the Middle East at the time, “gave” Palestine to the Jews. Unfortunately, the Jews bit hard on the whole process. The pain and torture that the Germans gave to the Jews has been passed on to the Palestinians for sixty years now. And we’re surprised that Arabs, Persians, Pakistanis and Afghanis hate Israel?! And hate us for supporting them? Jesus Herbert Walker Christ! I saw we just end the whole thing now. We have a whole shitload of unoccupied land. Let’s start New Israel. We’ll fly the whole country over and they can have a big chunk of Montana bordering Canada. They wouldn’t have a seaport but we would lift any and all tariffs and import taxes to negate that burden.

The End