“It’s My Draft Notice”

“It’s My Draft Notice…” (1970)
by Tony Auth (1942-2014)
11 x 14 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

After graduating from UCLA in 1965 and working as a medical illustrator, Auth began doing political cartoons.

Initially he did one cartoon a week for a weekly alternative newspaper, the LA Free Press. Sawyer Press represented Auth for syndication. They also represented Ron Cobb, one of the most widely recognized underground cartoonists of his day. Auth and Cobb were featured together in the Sawyer solicitations with three other cartoonists (Badajos, Evans, and Urbank).

After being encouraged by Paul Conrad at the Los Angeles Times, Auth contributed three a week for the UCLA Daily Bruin. Six years later, in 1971, Auth was hired as staff editorial cartoonist by The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 41 years.

The five examples I have are likely from his work at the Bruin (1970-71) just before he moved to the east coast. They are the earliest known original works from Auth, who won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

As of this writing (July 2019), the question of women and the Selective Service is by no means a settled issue. Consider this entry a companion to my musings about my 1968 “Fuck the Draft” poster.

February 26, 2019 (Military.com, by Patricia Kime)

A federal judge’s decision Friday that the law requiring men — but not women — to register for a U.S. military draft is unconstitutional has no immediate impact on women or the U.S. Selective Service System. But it does revive debate about whether the country needs a military draft system and, if so, whether all 18-year-olds, regardless of gender, should be required to register.

Judge Gray Miller of the U.S. Southern District of Texas ruled Friday that the Military Selective Service Act discriminates on the basis of gender. He said the U.S. Selective Service System’s arguments in defense “smacked of ‘archaic and overbroad generalization about women’s preferences.'” The arguments, as interpreted by Miller, included concerns that a draft for both genders would have a negative impact on military recruiting because women might believe they will be forced into combat positions if they enlist.

“At its core, the defendant’s arguments rest on the assumption that women are significantly more combat-averse than men,” Miller wrote.

The ruling does not order the federal government to change its policy on who must register, nor does it make any recommendation to Congress, which would have to change the laws governing the Selective Service System to require women to sign up.

A system for conscription has been used off and on since the Civil War. The Selective Service System was created in 1917 to ensure that the federal government had the ability to draft all eligible men as needed for war. The draft was abolished in 1973 by President Richard Nixon, and registration for the Selective Service System was suspended in 1975. However, under the administration of President Jimmy Carter in 1980, it was revived to ensure rapid mobilization in an emergency.

Support for women registering for the system gained steam after the Defense Department abolished all restrictions on women serving in combat positions in 2013. Several plaintiffs, including the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), subsequently filed lawsuits challenging the “men-only” requirement of Selective Service. In 2016, Congress created the blue-ribbon panel to study the issue.

A few samples of 1969 solicitations from Sawyer:



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