Friday, September 28, 2007
World War II and Comic Books: Sgt. Rock
Here's another I'm reminded of and what's good about Sgt Rock is that they are still being published and older issues have been reprinted in book form. Again the converted slide show I did as a manual read doesn't convert too well here. About Sgt Rock from wikipedia:
"During World War II, Sgt. Rock fought in the infantry branch of the U.S. Army in the European Theatre and eventually rose to authority within his unit, Easy Company. The unit was made up of a disparate collection of individuals who managed to participate in every major action in the European war. Rock's dogtag number was 409966, which had been, it was claimed, Robert Kanigher's own military serial number.
Robert Kanigher mused in letters columns in the 1970s and 1980s that Rock probably belonged to "The Big Red One" (First US Infantry Division) given his appearance on battlefields in North Africa, Italy and Northwest Europe. The backstory for Rock was fleshed out in different comics over the years; generally he is considered to have come from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he worked in a steel mill. Enlisting after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he went to North Africa as a private but promotion came quickly as his superiors were killed, to assistant squad leader, squad leader, and then platoon sergeant. His unit is only ever given as "Easy Company", but no regiment or division is named nor is unit insignia ever shown. Rock also usually wears the chevrons and rockers of a Master Sergeant on his uniform and also applied, oversize, to the front of his helmet."
Kaniger was the main writer, but the artist is the famed Joe Kubert, a Brooklyn boy who lived on Schenck Ave in Brownsville.
Here's a link to an April 2006 blogpost where there is more on Sgt Rock and also a downloadable, better resolution slide show