USA is ready is definitely one of the more unusual comic books published during the Golden Age of Comics. Even before the end of the war there were comics that purported to contain non-fiction materials, usually biographies of famous people and true crime stories. But as far as I can tell the earliest example of a comic book that was entirely non-fiction was this one-shot from Dell. Here’s an ad for it from Crackajack Comics.
Published in 1941 before the start of WWII it was a reflection of the times. Although there were still plenty of isolationists trying to keep America out of World War II there was a growing acknowledgement that America’s participation in it was probably inevitable.
We tend to forget there was a peacetime draft in 1941 which is we have such film comedies as Bob Hopes’ Caught In The Draft which was released on July 4th…
…and Abbott & Costello’s Buck Privates (released in January but made before Pearl Harbor).
USA is ready doesn’t contain stories but rather a collection of images of military insignia’s and weapons from all branches of the armed services. It seems to have been designed to demonstrate the country’s war readiness to an audience made up primarily of kids who even prior to our entry into the war really seemed to be into military stuff.
It features one of the most attractive covers of the Golden Age and one of my personal favorites for the simplicity of it’s design (it first caught my eye when I saw it in The Steranko History of Comics decades ago). This portion about the Army titled “Blitzkrieg the American Way” was penciled and inked by J. P. Ronan.
— Steve Bennett