We’re offering the Dieselpunk and Steampunk versions of our ‘Rosie the Riveter’ / We Can Do It! poster for sale in our shop:
In 2010, Lauren Reeser and I (with some input from my friend and writing mentor, Jim Bricker) were working on a tribute to an icon from World War 2. Mistakenly referred to as Rosie the Riveter (more on this in a moment), the “We Can Do It!” poster has become an enduring symbol of the United States’ mobilization of its workforce for the wartime effort – and specifically has become almost synonymous with woman’s rights, equality, and capabilities.
Lauren and I wanted to explore the “We Can Do It!” poster from a Steampunk and Dieselpunk angle for two reasons:
1. We wanted to re-imagine what it would have looked like in alternate realities – which is part of the allure of Steampunk and Dieselpunk.
2. As I’ve said on my blog, the world of Dieselverse San Francisco is an exploration of my dealing with cancer. In September 2010, just days before we launched the comic, I learned I had a new tumor. I went back and forth on what to do and nearly scrapped the comic altogether. Ultimately I decided to go ahead with the comic and, to that end, Lauren, Jim and I all felt that “We Can Do It!” spoke not only to the mustering of strength and will during the war effort, but it also spoke to my situation and my own personal war with cancer. And it’s the use of the plural ‘We’ that resounds most. *I* could do it all on my own, but with support from my friends, I can even better handle the struggles associated with cancer.
We had a lot of fun designing and producing these and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. You can see both the Steampunk and Dieselpunk versions of this poster at the end of this entry.
The History of “We Can Do It!”:
Some may wonder why it is I refer to this as the “We Can Do It!” poster and not Rosie the Riveter:
As stated above, Geraldine Doyle unwittingly became the model for the “We Can Do It!” poster – which was done by illustrator J. Howard Miller. At the time of its release in February 1942, the term “Rosie the Riveter” was not in use. The poster was hardly known outside of the Midwest as it was displayed solely at Westinghouse factories – and even then only for two weeks (followed by another poster in Miller’s series). The We Can Do It! poster was rediscovered in the 1970s or 1980s and became the well known piece of Americana it is today.
The term Rosie the Riveter comes from a song of the same name (released later in 1942) by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb and is about an untiring factory worker doing her part for the American war effort.
Norman Rockwell painted the definitive image of Rosie the Riveter, eating lunch with her riveting gun in her lap, her arms perched on her lunchbox (marked ‘Rosie’) and her loafered feet resting on a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Her pose is modeled after Michelangelo’s depiction of Isaiah in the fresco for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
R.I.P. Ms. Doyle. And thank you to all the Rosies out there for both your hard work and for showing that women are as equally capable as men.
Our Steampunk and Dieselpunk renditions of We Can Do It!: