In the course of an intriguing and adventurous tour in the Navy, the comic Dick Wingate in the US Navy touts the appeal of the uniform to women, both at home and abroad. The publication first illustrated some of this appeal and appreciation in a collage marking Dick’s transformation from a high school student to a sailor.[^] The text describes Dick’s transformation into a sailor with a bright future ahead, while the three images show this process in better detail. The photos show Dick wearing a suit and acting professionally with a superior officer, his physical training, which is crafting his body into a more virile and dangerous weapon, and an image of him in a sailor’s uniform, signaling his transformation and illustrating his achievement. On the right, Dick is shown returning home to Centerville as a sailor, and is greeted happily by a young man, while three women look on and approach.This image illustrates the admiration that those at home had for a sailor, and especially the three young women looking on admirably. Taken as a whole, this image shows that his training process returned him to his hometown as someone who garners respect, as well as attention from young women.
The story also hints at the availability of exotic women waiting for the sailors at Navy ports. One of Dick’s fellow sailors, Mike, heard that the ship would be heading to Malibau, and he tells Dick that Malibau is home to the most beautiful women in the Pacific.[^] When a fellow sailor refers to Mike as ‘loverboy,’ Mike retorts, “Whadd’ya mean ‘Lover Boy’? I just happen t’appreciate the attraction this uniform has for the opposite sex! Anybody want to argue about that?”[^] He then supported his claim even further by pulling out a file of women at Malibu, showing that women are so plentiful for him, thanks to his uniform, that he must keep a paper trail on them.[^] He further asserts the power of the uniform on with by trying to choose which one would be good for Dick, with the assumption that all would be interested in him.[^] This discourse places sexual agency with men - in this case, sailors - and out of the hands of women. Men have all of the selection and control in the matter, and women are simply objects that are attracted to the uniform. These types of depictions set a precedent for male virility and attractiveness, as well as reinforcing the heteronormativity of the dominant culture of the military.