Public Service Features: The Color Guard

During World War II, the Office of War Information offered newspapers many free patriotic features designed to help with morale and sell war bonds. Among these were some comic strips and quite a few panel cartoon series. So far I’ve only found a single such feature that was designed to run in black newspapers, and that was The Color Guard.

The Color Guard was a panel series about heroic figures of black men and women of history, going heavy on those whose stories had either a patriotic or military component. The series was produced by a competent cartoonist who signed himself only Alston, and he did not get a byline. Alex Jay has discovered his identity, and we’ll have his Ink-Slinger Profile tomorrow.

The earliest I’ve found this panel showing up was on January 16 1943*, and the latest I’ve seen it running in a paper that offered it on a regular weekly basis was April 9 1944**. The Atlanta World offered one additional panel on September 21 1944, but I’m guessing that was a repeat to fill a hole, since other papers ended the series in April as well.

The samples above are from the New York Age, which ran the series minus its title bars.

* New York Age
** Atlanta World

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