• U.S.

The Press: Up from the Ranks

1 minute read

Ernie Pyle, top G.I. war correspondent, called Sergeant Bill Mauldin the best cartoonist of the war. His drawings, thought Pyle, often went beyond comedy, were “terribly grim and real . . . about the men who are … doing the dying.” That was enough for smart George A. Carlin, boss of United Feature Syndicate. In a fortnight 22-year-old Sergeant Mauldin’s unshaven, unsmiling infantryman “G.I. Joe” and his hard-faced pals will become syndicated newspaper characters. This week Carlin reported that 42 papers had signed for “Joe.”

Sergeant Mauldin has been at the front in Sicily and Italy. His battle-weary “Joe,” confusedly making the best of his hard, humorless life, began as a diversion for Mauldin’s 45th Division, quickly spread to the North African edition of Stars & Stripes.

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