Their eyes met. A sort of recognition passed between them.
~War Comics like this were part of my formative influences. I can't recall seeing this one and probably would not have caught on to the fetishistic interpretation even if I had. Not consciously anyway. Once you have spotted it however, it's hard to imagine that it wasn't intentional.
This second image reinforces that fanciful impression. Notice that Jim's hand appears to be actually touching the boot here. It comes from a completely different story and although the styling of the boots and other details is similar, it's not by the same artist.
At the time, the so-called 'jackboot' was popular shorthand for the despised militarism and aggression of the regime. Both creators are drawing on that to create a sense of looming menace, but you can't help wondering if there's more to it than that! Most of the ordinary soldiers in the conflict actually treated prisoners with respect given the chance, but it makes for good suspense.
~These stories were supposed to inspire British boys with tales of valour, sacrifice and triumphing over adversity. The heroes were attractive and masculine and some of the images were highly homoerotic as they got themselves into and out of fixes or just did manly things, in and out of uniform. The artwork varied in quality but was often very attractive as you can in the two examples shown here. I plan to explore that imagery further in future articles for it's erotic and artistic interest,
(hopefully managing to avoid the minefield of racism and violence attached to the stories).
Images adapted from War Picture Library, (Fleetway Library)
Go to No2 in this series