PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly

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PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly
PSJune1951.jpg
Premiere issue of PS (June 1951). Art by Will Eisner.
Categories preventive maintenance
Frequency monthly
Publisher Department of the Army
First issue June 1951
Country  United States
Based in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
ISSN 0475-2953

PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly is a monthly United States Army magazine published since June 1951 to illustrate proper preventive maintenance methods with comic book-style art. (The magazine's title derives from its being a "postscript" to other, related publications.)

History[edit]

As the US Army ramped up for its involvement in the war on the Korean peninsula, it realized that its soldiers were encountering problems with their equipment. The Army had experienced some degree of acceptance and success during WWII with the instructional publication Army Motors, for which Corporal Will Eisner, an established comic-book writer-artist-editor, had been appropriated to draw such characters as Private Joe Dope, Connie Rodd, and Master Sergeant Half-Mast McCanick. In 1951, the Army hired Eisner to create similar instructional material for its new publication, PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly.[1]

Eisner was the publication's artistic director from its inception through the end of 1971. The magazine's artists have included Eisner, Murphy Anderson, Joe Kubert, Dan Spiegle, Scott Madsen, Malane Newman, Alfredo Alcala, and Mike Ploog.[2] As of 2010, Kubert is the art contractor for the magazine, having begun his PS work in 2001.

The magazine from its inception has been, written, researched, and edited by Department of the Army civilians. The home office of PS was located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from April 1951 through January 1955, when it was moved to Raritan Arsenal, New Jersey. It was moved again in October 1962 to Fort Knox, Kentucky. It remained there until July 1973, when it moved to the Lexington-Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. In June 1993, it moved to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

In March 2011, the magazine published its 700th issue.

Recurring characters[edit]

A typical PS illustration publicizing new information: M1 tank crewmen may now mount a roadwheel atop their tank's turret, due to the availability of a new type of mounting assembly.

The original characters that appeared in PS, were Private Joe Dope, Private Fosgnoff, MSG Bull Dozer, Percy the Skunk, SFC Windy Windsock, SFC Macon Sparks, SFC Pablo Hablo, Half-Mast, and Connie Rodd. Two remain as of 2010: Half-Mast and Connie Rodd, both of whom have appeared in every issue.

In 1970, Bonnie, an African-American civilian was added as a regular character to work with Connie. And, shortly thereafter SFC Benjamin "Rotor" Blade joined the staff as an aviation specialist. Online Warrior, a Logistics Management avatar, served with the magazine for several years until he was replaced late in 2012 by Cloe, a youthful female civilian, whose strengths lie in computers and logistics.[3]

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Connie and Bonnie were played up as "cheesecake" targeted at the mostly male GIs to help interest them in using PS. Following an increased presence of females in the Army since that time, and at the urging of Congresswoman Bella Abzug and Senator William Proxmire, the magazine updated the two characters in March 1980 to a more modest and professional form.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan W. Pierce, Editor-in-Chief, PS Magazine
  2. ^ p. 156 Cooke, Jon B. & Adams, Neil Comic Book Artist Collection Mike Ploog Interview The Man Called Ploog 2000 TwoMorrows Publishing
  3. ^ Jonathan Pierce

References[edit]

  • Eisner, Will, Eisner, Ann, Campell, Eddie, Schomaker, Peter J. PS Magazine: The Best of the Preventive Maintenance Monthly

PS Magazine Abrams ComicArts, 2011

External links[edit]