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Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 21/2

​Knopf does the important work of illuminating public understandings of combat experiences and war traumas by going back to those who report from battle zones.

Kent Bolke, curator, 10th Mtn Division & Ft Drum Museum

Christina Knopf has managed to find a way to look inside a very closed culture and bring to light how many of us [veterans] think and feel, a rather difficult thing to do not being a veteran herself. Christina’s choice to study these cartoons gives civilians a look at soldiers they will never find anywhere else.

H-Net Reviews,
Oct. 2016

The Comic Art of War goes beyond simply analyzing military comics by demonstrating what comics can tell us about the military experience, the place of  militaries in society, and the ways in which historians of any field can use comics as a valuable source to gain valuable historical insight.

Betsy Grant, author of Point Man Palmer in Vietnam

One is exposed to much information about the well knowns like Will Eisner and Bill Mauldin, but they also learn in detail about many lesser known artists and what they created. [M]any… stories and cartoons, made this book an excellent read that I would highly recommend.

Int J Military History & Historiography, 38/01

This monograph takes a long view of more than two centuries in describing the diverse aspects of military lives world-wide. [...] Knopf is well aware of the new genre of research in military comic art. She deserves to be commended for her very interesting book.

CF Grant, creator of BOHICA Blues

Knopf not only delves into the works of the artists, but more importantly describes the social contexts that the artists would be in when the works were created. It is fascinating to see how little has changed in military society over the generations - [...] - while we also see how much has changed.

Choice Reviews, 53/05

In contrast to studies that have explored how military life was depicted to an outside audience, this one illuminates the ways in which soldiers depicted – and typically satirized – their experiences in uniform for one another.

War Game Vault,
Sep. 2015

A good piece of academic writing, well researched and written.

Communication Booknotes Quarterly, 46/4

The author’s unique rhetorical diagrams help to compare and contrast the varied approaches taken [by military cartoonists].


Well presented academic study of the role of cartoons in shaping both civilian and military perceptions of warfare.

Primarily written for an academic audience, The Comic Art of War will be of use to historians, scholars, and cartoonists.

Related Publications

  • Knopf, C.M. (2024). Black and white death: Memories of violence in the Great War. In J. Davis-McElligatt & J. Coby (Eds.), BOOM! SPLAT!: Comics and violence, pp. 32-43. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2021). “Like his dad”: Epistolic constructions of American children in World War II. Home Front Studies, 1(1), 59-83.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2020). Back chat: Subversion and conformity in dominion cartoons of the World Wars. In T. Tuleja (Ed.), Different drummers: Military discipline and its discontents, pp. 32-47. The University Press of Colorado/Utah State University Press.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2020). Bill Mauldin’s legacy in military cartooning. In T. DePastino (Ed.), Drawing fire: The editorial cartoons of Bill Mauldin, pp. 87-103. Chicago, IL: Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2019). War is hell: The (super)nature of war in the works of Mike Mignola. In S.G. Hammond (Ed.), The Mignolaverse: Hellboy and the comics art of Mike Mignola, pp. 144-155. Edwardsville, IL: Sequart Organization.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2018). Sinne fianna fáil: Women, Irish rebellions, and the graphic novels of Gerry Hunt. In N. Tal & T. Prorokova (Eds.), Cultures of war in graphic novels: Violence, trauma, and memory, pp. 123-137. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2017). “Hey, soldier! - Your slip is showing!”: Militarism vs. femininity in WWII comic pages and books. In J. Kimble & T. Goodnow (Eds.), The 10 cent war: Comic books, propaganda, and World War II, pp. 26-45. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

  • Knopf, C.M. & Doran, C.M. (2016). PTXD: Gendered narratives of combat, trauma, and the civil-military divide.  In C. Bucciferro (Ed.), The X-Men films: A cultural analysis, pp. 61-73.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2016). Zany zombies, grinning ghosts, silly scientists, and nasty Nazis: Comedy-horror at the threshold of World War II. In C.J. Miller & A.B. VanRiper (Eds.), The laughing dead: The comedy-horror film from Bride of Frankenstein to Zombieland, pp. 25-38. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2015). The U.N.dead: Cold War ghosts in Carol for another Christmas. In C.J. Miller & A.B. Van Riper (Eds.), Horrors of war: The undead on the battlefield, pp. 136-153. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2014). Sense-making and map-making: War letters as personal geographies. NANO, 6/Cartography & Narrative,

  • Knopf, C.M. (2012). Relational dialectics in the civil-military relationship: Lessons from veterans’ transition narratives. Political & Military Sociology: An Annual Review, 40, 171-192.

  • Knopf, C.M. & Ziegelmayer, E.J. (2012). Fourth generation warfare & the US military’s social media strategy: Promoting the academic conversation. Air & Space Power Journal – Africa & Francophonie, Q4: 3-22.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2011). Those who bear the heaviest burden: War and American exceptionalism in the age of entitlement. In J. Edwards & D. Weiss (Eds.), The rhetoric of American exceptionalism: Critical essays, pp. 171-188. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press.

Image by Gabriella Clare Marino
Image by Ak Ka

Related Presentations

  • Yezbick, D.F. & Knopf, C.M. (2023, Sep). “Bombs and bombshells, aluminum and Lace: Milton Caniff at the intersections of illustration and insignia in World War II.” Blind Spots: The 13th Annual Illustration Research Symposium. St. Louis, MO.

  • ------ (2022, Nov). Military Humor. Military at Microsoft.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2022, Nov) “Veteran-created war comics and the workaday war.” Comics, Security, and the American Mission, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH.

  • Yezbick, D.F. & Knopf, C.M. (2022 , Jul). “Letters and lace: Milton Caniff’s Male Call and its readers.” Comics Readers, Comics Politics. Comics Studies Society. East Lansing, MI.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2020, Sep). “Babes at arms: From firing/pin ups to Bombshells.” Women and War in Superhero Comics. Flyover Comics Symposium, Digital Frontiers. Virtual conference.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2019, Sep). “Animating #VeteransVoices: StoryCorps, cartoons, and the civil-military gap.” Animation and Public Engagement Symposium. Lubbock, TX.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2018, Mar). “Graphic epistles and epistle graphics: Of war letters and comics.” Comics and the Epistolary Tradition. Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association: Indianapolis, IN.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2017, Mar). The Military in Cartoon: Veteran Comic Creators – a Panel Discussion. Border Town Comic-Con. Ontario, OR.
  • Knopf, C.M. (2016, Nov). “‘V’ for victory, violence, vixens, and variants: Exploring feminism & peace in the WWII herstory of DC’s Bombshells.” Contributing to the Conversation: Costumed Superheroes and Contemporary Socio-Political Discourse. National Communication Association: Philadelphia, PA.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2016, Oct). “The comic art of war: Comedy, comics, and miltoons.” SOAR North Country. Potsdam, NY.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2016, Aug). “Animating the war effort: Cartoons of World War II.” Spirit of Revolution on the Home Front, National Parks of Boston. National Parks Service Centennial Celebration. USS Constitution Museum: Boston, MA.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2020, Sep). “Babes at arms: From firing/pin ups to Bombshells.” Women and War in Superhero Comics. Flyover Comics Symposium, Digital Frontiers. Virtual conference.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2016, Jul). “Undead soldiers never die: Post-9/11 civil-military relations in DC’s ‘G.I. Zombie.’” Poster Presentations. Comic Arts Conference at Comic Con International. San Diego, CA.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2016, Jun). “Visual perspective in primary, secondary, and tertiary graphic narratives of World War I.” Images, Imageries, Imaginaires. Colloque Guerres et BD: Écrire une histoire nouvelle de l’Europe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, et le Goethe-Institut Paris, avec la Panthéon-Sorbonne (Université Paris 1). Paris, FR.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2014, May). “Drawn behind the lines: Fantasizing borders in war cartoons.” Tracing the Rhetorics of War. Rhetoric Society of America: San Antonio, TX.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2012, Nov). “The funny side of war: A fantasy theme analysis of WWII & Iraq editorial cartoons by soldiers who were there.” A COMMunity of Humor in Political Communication. National Communication Association: Orlando, FL.

  • Knopf, C.M. (2011, Nov). “Soldiers without guns, women’s work is never done: WWII WACs and WAVES from comic pages to comic books.” Comic Books Voices as Domestic Propaganda in World War II. National Communication Association: New Orleans, LA.

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