Monday, August 11, 2008

Propaganda Skulls

Propaganda art is so cool. Especially when they invoke the skull image to make a point. Either the enemy is death, or you are death to the enemy... the death's head catches the attention, which is perhaps why it is so prevalent in art and the media. Below are a some examples of it's use as a wartime warning.


"Grinning death's head" Artist unknown, 1939-1945

A pencilled careless talk drawing of a grinning death's head skull wearing a German U-boat sailor uniform, with a skeletal hand cupping it's ear in order to listen to useful information, including ‘sailing dates, cargoes or destinations'. With the UK a maritime nation, reliant upon many imported goods, the U-boat created havoc with merchant shipping. With good information, targeting could be more precise, and the damage more devastating.

WWII German propaganda leaflet dropped on Allied troops fighting for Anzio in Italy.


This one is self-explanatory. Hitler=death. Hard now to imagine a time when people had to be told this.


Hmmm... I wonder if George Romero saw this before he made his first zombie movie?

Yes, the skull is nature's way of getting our attention and focusing us on our mortality. After sex, the skull is the most effective way to grab the eye and make a point, hence it's usefulness in propaganda.

Have you hugged a skull today?

1 comment:

Karswell said...

>After sex, the skull is the most effective way to grab the eye and make a point

What about sex with a skull? Can you imagine what eye grabbin' points that would make?! Yow!

Nice historic angle to zee skullz today. I love the old WW2 sense of design and color in ads like these.