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John Paul Jones Comic Book Hero 1

JPJ attacked by crewman in 1942 Comic

During World War II editors of Parents Magazine tried making comic books legit. Titles like "Real Heroes" and "True Comics" and "Calling All Girls" marketing education in comic book form. Among the heroes recycled from history books was John Paul Jones. He appeared in an issue with Sitting Bull and black activist Toussaint Louverture. The goal of these comics was to help parents educate their children.


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John Paul Jones: Founder of the American Navy
March 1942

Real HeroesJohn Paul Jones has been turned into a comic book character many times. This is possibly the most authentic telling of Jones’ life, at least based on information available at the time. The slogan below the headline of "Real Heroes" reads: "Comics, not about impossible supermen, but about real-life heroes and heroines who have made and are making history.

Just doing something well, according to comic book editor George Hecht, makes a child a hero, equivalent to famous heroes. That was the upbeat message of the comic series published by the Parents Magazine Press that continues to own the copyright to this cartoon. Hecht founded the company in 1926 and was publisher for over 50 years. The comics were designed to help parents educate their children using a format that kids found attractive in a vein similar to "Classics Illustrated".

Not especially well written or illustrated, this comic episode still provide a shortcut to the interesting tale of John Paul Jones. The comic includes many of the inaccurate details manufacturered by Jones’ 1900 biographer Augustus Buell. According to a later biogrpaher Samuel Eliot Morison, Jones did not have two African slaves named Cato and Scipio as shown here and did not meet with and advise Congress on the creation of the Navy. But the version offered here is generally accurate. The first half ot the 10-page chapter follows. --- JDR

John Paul Jones Comic

CONTINUE John Paul Jones, Real Hero, Part 1

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