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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Government Writes Comic Books

Posted by on Fri, May 8, 2009 at 3:36 PM

400d/1241805538-togetherwe_llwin.jpgRobot 6 discovered an amazing treasure-trove of comics produced by the U.S. Government over the last sixty years as public service announcements.

A few examples include a Charlie Brown story about wearing an eye patch to beat lazy eyes (I totally had to do that when I was a kid) and a Captain America story about fighting the war on drugs that is only notable because it includes the sound effect "Krunk!" when one kid hits another. Scott Adams does a Dilbert-style one about efficiency, and there are several Blondie comics, too.

There's also "Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin," "Be an Army Energy Super-Hero with Captain Conservo," "Adventures on Space Station Freedom," and "Bert the Turtle says Duck and Cover." And a hundred and sixty or so more of them. Clearly, we will not be good citizens until we have all read these comics.


Comments (9) RSS

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Jocelyn 1
Dear Paul Constant,

Wearing an eyepatch is adorable. I hope that story is true.

Love, Jocelyn.
Posted by Jocelyn on May 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM · Report this
elenchos 2
Ah, yes. Public Service Announcements.

I would like to take this opportunity to harp on those very clever Think! PSAs in the UK that were in the Morning News today. The ones with the gorilla walking through the ballplayers and so on, which did not work at all. In fact, based on the kind of logic used around this Slog to judge mothers and fathers, and pit bulls, the ads actually killed people.
Posted by elenchos on May 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 3
Dear Paul Constant,

I love to get Krunked too. Lets get freaky in Captain America underpants.

Love, pissy
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on May 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM · Report this
w7ngman 4
No one else got their King County Swine Flu comic book PSA?…
Posted by w7ngman on May 8, 2009 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 5
Am I the only one who finds it slightly ironic that Cap't America was created by using super-soldier serum (aka drugs)?

If you can't beat em, join em!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on May 8, 2009 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 6
I can't even believe that I was beaten to my obscure comment. Thanks for nothing Urgutha. But to answer yer question...Nope. You ain't the only one.
Posted by Gurldoggie on May 8, 2009 at 6:47 PM · Report this

Yeah, just about the time steroid hormones like cortisol (the basis for cortisone) were being discovered, and which inevitably has led to the creation of anabolic steroids, so irony indeed.

Also, it's a little hard to take Cap's anti-drug screed seriously, when he and his Marvel buddies were at the same time shilling high-sugar snack foods (*cough!* Hostess Twinkies *cough!*) on the back pages of their rags.
Posted by COMTE on May 8, 2009 at 8:28 PM · Report this
There's a set of comic books put out by the State Department where Superman and Wonderwoman save children from land mines and then teach valuable lessons about not playing with half buried chunks of metal. I think it's a fantastic idea - they are distributed in local languages in countries where land mines are a big problem.
Posted by malwae on May 9, 2009 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Resident Clinton 9
Holy crap, what a treasure trove! After spending way too much time downloading a variety of these comics, I would like to add the following to Paul's list of must-sees:

WISHES AND RAINBOWS, a really trippy kids story from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
THIS IS ANN, Dr. Suess' take on mosquitos and Malaria.
THIS IS BANKS, in which a group of hippie teens learn how to use a bank when their pretzel business takes off. Features a gem of a frame where a mounted moose head is all sad about Stagflation.
HOOKED and TEEN AGE BOOBY TRAP, some awesomely EC style drug comics.
SUPERMAN AND WONDERWOMAN: THE HIDDEN KILLER, which is what #8 was referring to.

And probably two of the lamest superheroes: SPROCKET MAN (bike safety: he rides a ten-speed and carries a giant gear shift) and RAY CYCLE: RECYCLING SUPERHERO (he's from Connecticut).

My favorite item on the site is actually 1970s DON'T GUESS ABOUT DRUGS, which isn't a comic book, really, but a catalogue of drug scare items. Comics, Short Films, Radio and TV PSAs (with the likes of Rod Serling and Martin Landau warning you against LSD), comics, posters, and even Drug Dependence magazine, which features a cover image of drug users that look, well, a heckuva lot like the Village People. There were so many ways to spread the fear.
Posted by Resident Clinton on May 9, 2009 at 2:12 PM · Report this

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