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Tuesday, May 03, 2016 

Oregonian sees nothing wrong with EC's ludicrous take on patriots

The Oregonian wrote about the enduring art in the old EC Comics of the early 50s. Certainly they took on some challenging subjects like race relations, which was very bold at the time. But then the paper flubs when they bring up the story of how anti-communists behave in an entry from the 2nd issue of the Shock SuspenStories anthology, dated April-May 1952:
And the 1954 hearing in which U.S. Army counsel Joe Welch famously demanded of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Two years earlier, Bill Gaines published "The Patriots," wherein an anti-Communist mob kills a stoic spectator at a military parade because, blinded in the Korean War, he fails to salute a passing flag.
As bad as McCarthy's approach was, I don't think any murders of perceived commies were ever committed in the 50s, if that's what the paper's implying. If the guy was supposed to be blind, I can't see any sign of a walking cane, nor is he wearing any dark glasses (to my best of knowledge, sunglasses were invented at the time too, and plastic already in the early 20th century). The story makes would-be patriots out to look instantly judgemental, not even asking why he wouldn't salute the American flag when the troops passed with it (who were curiously unworried about the assault and murder in their midst). And worst of all, it makes it look like "patriots" have no qualms about committing murder. That's the issue I have with this embarrassment - it's basically a whole big, negative stereotype.

All that seems to have eluded the Oregonian's writer, who had no complaints to raise about how hurtful it really was to anti-communists. EC was not doing any favors at all with that farfetched tommyrot, and neither is the newspaper if they won't take issue with the story.

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