|"The Sword Must Be Broken" by Charles R. McAuley in New York World by February 19, 1918|
|"Hohenzollern, the High Toll-Taker" by Charles R. McAuley in New York World by February 27, 1918|
One reason for the preponderance of pedagogy is that the Committee on Public Information, created by executive order within days of the U.S. declaration of war, included a Bureau of Cartoons which would suggest ideas that they wanted cartoonists to draw in support of the war effort. These ideas were coming from ideologues and propagandists, not wits and bons vivants.
Another reason is that publishers, then as now, understand cartoons in which a brooding Teuton with a sword labeled "criminal autocracy" sits on a sack of cash with his boot resting on a slain maiden. There is no joke in such a drawing that has to be explained to them. And it's as serious as the rest of the page.
Not that cartoonists wouldn't try to slip a little levity in when they could.
|"Those German 'Piece' Terms" by Magnus Kettner for Western Newspaper Union, by February 22, 1918|
|"It's Filling" by Harry Keys in Columbus Citizen by February 25, 1918|
"Ding" Darling adds a judicious level of levity on the same topic. (Clearly, American cartoonists still had no idea what Vladimir Lenin looked like; but that's a decent caricature of Wisconsin Senator Bob LaFollette peering over the fence.)
|"And Yet There Are Those..." by John "Ding" Darling, by February 21, 1918|
|"The Quitter" by John H. Cassel in New York Evening World, January, 1918|
|"Deserter?" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Eagle, January, 1918|
William Hanny affords the Balkan country a more sympathetic treatment than John Cassel or Nelson Harding had given its neighbor to the east.
|"You Did the Best You Could, Anyway" by William Hanny in St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, March 2, 1918|
|"Help Catch 'Em!" by Maurice Ketten (Prosper Fiorini) in New York Evening World, by February 20, 1918|
I'm quite certain that Ketten's call for field glasses was on the level, not some attempt to satirize a lack of military preparedness. The U.S. was kind of new to the business of equipping our fighting men to fight overseas, so a certain degree of deficiency in supplies was to be expected. But we're old pros at that stuff now, so you'd think we wouldn't need citizens to chip in to keep our soldiers in Iraq supplied with helmets.
That's all for this week's installment of World War I cartoons. And if you thought these were funny, next week's look at what cartoonists abroad were drawing will have you rolling on the floor with laughter.