New Book Features the Work of Akron Cartoonist Web Brown


Akron-born writer Tim Carroll published his previous book, World War II Akron, last year with Arcadia Publishing, and the esteemed publishing house has just released another of Carroll's books, World War II Cartoons of Akron’s Web Brown.

An Akron Beacon Journal cartoonist, Brown was one of the best political cartoonists in America during World War II. After serving in the Spanish-American War, Brown returned to the States and began a 46-year career lasting from 1899 through 1945. Before and during the Second World War, Brown’s cartoons lampooned Hitler, Mussolini and Japan with a “strong sense of justice, humor and history.”

"I wanted to call the book The Best Cartoons of World War II since Web Brown was the best cartoonist in the country from what I have seen during World War II," says Carroll. "Since Arcadia specializes in local history, they changed the name to World War II Cartoons of Akron's Web Brown because they want the city in every title. The title is still good. I just think the book would sell better, and people would know that these are the best cartoons of World War II if the title said that. The cartoons have nothing to do with Akron. They are all World War II cartoons; the cartoonist is from Akron is all. Other then the title being changed they are great."

Featured six days a week in the Beacon Journal, Brown sought to boosted morale at home and lift the spirits of soldiers overseas.

"I spent months looking through all the cartoons he did for them from 1929 to 1945 and had a blast," says Carroll when asked about putting the book together. "Web's cartoons were so good I couldn't wait to see what the next one looked like. I put 108 images in World War II Akron, including 40 of Web's cartoons. He had over a thousand World War II cartoons and right away I knew I wanted to do a book on his cartoons. My idea was to print as many cartoons as I could in chronological order and write captions with them to tell the history of World War II. I ended up selecting 237 of Web's best cartoons from 1934 through 1945. He retired at the end of 1945, so his cartoons are around 75 to 85 years old and haven't been published again until now."

Carroll says the book has been selling well even though he hasn't been able to do any book readings because of coronavirus concerns. He hopes to hit bookstores and libraries once the pandemic ends.

"I gave over 100 presentations last year on World War II Akron and they were a hit," he says. "I plan to do many on the World War II cartoons book once things are back to normal. I was scheduled to speak at seven Cuyahoga County Public Library branches this summer, but those have all been cancelled."

You can purchase signed copies of the book on his website, where he offers free shipping.

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