"To Boys and Girls, Brothers and Sisters, Mothers and Dads: PICTURE NEWS looks the same as other books, but with appearance and method of presentation the likeness ends. PICTURE NEWS reports the news, the news with its endless appeal and its prophecy of things to come, in action and speaking and color pictures.
Drawn pictures in bright colors with balloons, which are comics, have thrilled, amused, informed and taught. The U.S. Army has used them, so have important advertisers, and schools are beginning to know their value.
Most of these comic books have their virtues. Their millions of eager readers devour the drawn stories of dramatic adventures and sudden success. And many a comic character has become better known and admired and more widely imitated than Cousin Jack or Aunt Tillie.
Why is this so? Because the leading comic book characters personify the energy, dash, unbeatable spirit and the pure motives of our American ideal. And it is this ideal and that spirit that will make America enduringly great.
Now PICTURE NEWS for the FIRST time uses this new medium of action pictures and color and dialogue to make life real on the printed page. And life, as we know, has its ups and downs. It is what it is - life. And we, being what we are, work and play, and sometimes suffer and die to make life more secure and better. Everything that happens is news. Reporting it, is an important job. To PICTURE NEWS, it is a challenge." (from the "January 1, 1946" introduction to the first issue)
That is an excerpt from the long inside-front-cover mission statement for the new book, and in it, among other things, we'll learn about musician, composer and actor Hoagy Carmichael in a tidy little four-page tale. Come feast your eyes and glut your soul - right after the jump.
Sadly, there is no information about the authors and artists who worked on the bulk of this first issue (in the Grand Comics Database), and the whole book is quite interesting and attractive. Something else that the GCD did not mention though, is that amidst the many stories inside divided by topic, there is a Jack Kirby - illustrated 'true' yarn about 'Bosco' the dog ("You Can't Lose a Faithful Dog") and a four-page humor sequence by Milt Gross, two very talented and famous names of the period.
We'll be seeing more from Picture News in future posts in this series, as they regularly covered the music and radio scene, sometimes spotlighting people almost wholly forgotten today. "Put the mad element in it!"