The "lighter side" of the Vietnam War

An illustrated '60s-era book presents a non-p.c. version of a GI's perspective on the combat

Published February 8, 2012 1:00AM (EST)

This article originally appeared on Imprint.

I picked up this book years ago because I was astounded by its naive “design” and its raw unadulterated (hardly p.c.) presentation of a GI’s view of the Vietnam War. I also haven’t seen many cartoon books done by or about Vietnam GIs. I wouldn’t go as far as comparing it to Bill Mauldin’s “Up Front” with Willie & Joe,

the three books done by one-time Sardi’s caricaturist Alex Gard during WWII,

or certainly anything close to what Arthur Szyk did in his “The New Order,”

It had at least three printings (The Wayward Press-Tokyo) between July to October 1966. I can’t find out much at all about its author/cartoonist, Ken Melvin — he DID do another book titled “Be Nice” in 1968.

Copyright F+W Media Inc. 2011.

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By J.J. Sedelmaier

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