Redstone Arsenal, AL — Some people collect baseball cards. Others coins or recipes. And there’s even a bunch of folks who collect paper copies of PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly or, more simply, PS Magazine.
Founded in 1951, PS Magazine has served Soldiers and Warfighters for over 70 years by providing them authoritative information on maintaining their vehicles and equipment and keeping them combat ready.
Collectors cherish PS Magazine for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is the comic book format that appeals to sequential art lovers and history buffs alike. Another reason is its cast of iconic characters, such as MSG Half-Mast McCanick, Connie Rodd and SFC Benjamin “Rotor” Blade.
Here’s a little backstory: From the very start, the magazine’s creator—one of the cartooning world’s most beloved practitioners, Will Eisner—used comics and humor as a means to hook Soldiers into picking up and reading the magazine. And typically, the most humorous and colorful part of the magazine was its center section. It was literally the most colorful because it was printed in full color, while the rest of the magazine was typically two-color.
The center section was called the continuity, an 8-10 page story that humorously parodied historical or current events. No popular show, movie or best-selling book was safe from parody, and it led to some truly amusing tales. Examples include spoofs of Star Trek, Braveheart, The Hobbit and James Bond movies, among many more.
Capturing and keeping the reader’s attention wasn’t the magazine’s foremost aim, however. The cartoons, the humor, the wicked puns were all in service of conveying the all-important preventive maintenance, safety or supply message and making it stick.
To honor the rich comic legacy that PS Magazine created, a Classic Cartoons page is now available for readers to revisit some of the more memorable art and stories that made this publication unique. Visit the page HERE. More continuities will be added over time, so there’s always something fresh and fun to read.
P.S. from PS: In 2019, the magazine went all-digital. This means there is no new art being created, but the familiar faces of MSG Half-Mast, Connie and the other PS characters still appear on the magazine’s website to guide the reader through page after page of articles and resources devoted to preventive maintenance, safety and supply information.
The publication also changed its name to PS: the Preventive Maintenance Magazine, since it’s no longer published monthly but rather updated continuously. Visit the website HERE.