As the Vietnam War began to heat up, author Robin Moore’s war novel Tales Of The Green Beret became a bestseller. In 1966 the book was used as a springboard for a comic strip of the same name. The strip, supposedly written by Moore (but actually written by yeoman comic strip ghost-writer Elliot Caplin) was introduced to newspaper readers on April 4, 1966. Sporting art by the master of hard-bitten war comic books, Joe Kubert, the strip was an instant success. Kubert’s art style was perfect for the strip – every bit as gritty, bloody and terrifying as the real thing being broadcast on the evening news.
As casualties quickly mounted in Vietnam and the anti-war movement gained traction, newspaper editors started to think twice about running a comic strip about the Vietnam war. Presumably it was lagging strip sales that caused Joe Kubert to jump ship after a little more than a year and a half (his last Sunday was 1/7/68, his last daily in mid-week on 1/10/68). John Celardo took over the art, and as good as he might be, he just couldn’t maintain the intense flavor of Kubert’s version. The strip limped along, losing papers fast, and was finally put out to pasture on July 21, 1968.