Reviewed: Wille & Joe: Back Home

The Comics Journal reviews Fantagraphics’ soon to be release of “Willie & Joe: Back Home” – the follow up book to the 700 page + “Willie & Joe: The WWII Years” collection.

The first year or so of his post WWII strips continue to follow Willie and Joe in civilian life. Willie is back with his wife and a young son who had never met his father. The reunion, depicted one panel at a time, is not a smooth one. There is constant fighting and the revelation, as subtly depicted in one brilliant strip, that neither spouse was exactly faithful when they were apart. The division of the military into those who fought and those who didn?t continued to plague the grunts in civilian life, as soldiers who never saw time on the front not only demanded special treatment (and were the ones getting it in the early days after the war ended) but outright scorned the now ex-soldiers as being ?4F,? not knowing what they had experienced. Enlisted men, having received no useful training in the army, were having trouble finding jobs in a country that was just starting to emerge from a Depression.