• Steven Heller

When The Sky Fell In New York

During World War II every American city and town needed to have a strong civil defense authority, especially those on the coasts, potentially in range of bombers. Although the continental U.S. was never bombed, the threat was there — “Remember Pearl Harbor” was a mantra.

Little Oscar’s First Raid by Lydia Mead, with drawings by Oscar Fabres (1942), is a rather strange cautionary guide to Civilian Defense. But it comes out of a tradition of using wit and humor as well as comic drawings to teach what and what not to do in dangerous situations. This booklet was approved by Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of NYC until 1945, and was a popular, if user-friendly, means of staying informed. Here is an excerpt:

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →