Discover more from The Forgotten Files
"This is Ann . . . She drinks blood!" (1943)
Before "Cat in the Hat" - he drew Vampire Mosquitos
Though unsigned, the illustrations are in the unmistakable style of Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), who held the rank of Army Captain during the war and produced educational films and pamphlets for the military. The text is probably by Munro Leaf, author of The Story of Ferdinand.
Playing on Anopheles, the Latin name of the malarial mosquito, it features the punning title “This is Ann ….. she drinks blood!”
The title is flanked by two portraits of Ann herself, in one of which she cheerfully prepares to quaff a glass of blood.
“She can knock you flat so you’re no good to your country, your outfit or yourself. You’ve got the dope, the nets and stuff to lick her if you will USE IT.”
The lower half of the poster is taken up by a large thematic map using shades of red to indicate relative risks of contracting malaria around the world.
These unfortunately included the islands of the South Pacific and southern Italy, the two regions where American forces were most heavily engaged when this poster was produced at the end of 1943.
The Japanese conquest of Indonesia and the Philippines in early 1942 cut the Allies off from their sources of the malaria drug quinine. The results were nearly catastrophic, so much so that in some campaigns casualties from malaria outstripped those from hostile action.
By war’s end however the military had developed the ability to control the disease through aggressive prevention and public health measures.
Well before his iconic books were written, Dr. Seuss joined the World War II effort on the home front using his real name, Theodor Seuss Geisel.
At first, he drew posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. But by 1943, Geisel wanted to do more, so he joined the U.S. Army. He was put in command of the animation department of the 1st Motion Picture Unit, which was created out of the Army Signal Corps. There, he wrote pamphlets and films and contributed to the famous Private Snafu cartoon series.
Seuss also created anti-Japanese cartoons in that era
Title: This is Ann . . . She drinks blood!
Collection: P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography, #8548. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Creator: Geisel, Theodore ["Dr. Seuss"]
Other Creators: Leaf, Munro, author of text.