On -isms: John Patler

By | Thursday, November 09, 2017 Leave a Comment
Who was John Patler? I'll start with an extended snippet from his Wikipedia entry...
[John Patsalos] joined the American Nazi Party in 1960 and shortly changed his name to Patler to make it sound more like "Hitler". Patler later became a captain in the American Nazi Party... However, he was expelled from the Party in March 1967 for alleged "Bolshevik leanings" after disagreeing with [American Nazi Party leader George] Rockwell about some of the party's policies. Patler later described his relationship with Rockwell in very endearing terms, stating "I loved him like a father and he loved me like a son". In his last known letter to Rockwell, Patler wrote "I don't think there are two people on earth who think and feel the same as we do... You are a very important part of my life. I need you as much as you need me. Without you there is no future".

On August 25, 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was shot and killed while getting into his car, which was parked in front of a self-service laundry at an Arlington, Virginia, shopping center... Patler was arrested half an hour later about a mile from the scene of the shooting.

Patler was convicted of first-degree murder on December 16, 1967 by an Arlington jury and subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison...
Now, why am I discussing Patler on a blog about comics? Well, first he was a cartoonist for the Nazi party magazine, Stormtrooper. I can't seem to find any of those cartoons, but Craig Yoe recently noted that he received a copy of Patler's comic book, Here Comes Whiteman, from Patler himself after Yoe had a fan letter published in Adventures of the Unknown #174. (For the record, you can find scans of Here Comes Whiteman online without too much difficulty, but I'm not going to repost or link to them here, because it is horribly, horribly racist. There are exactly three panels in the whole comic that do not have an overt slur, or derogatory comment or caricature. I mean, I was originally thinking I could post it and say, "Don't make comics like this" but I honestly don't think even today's neo-Nazis would make something this offensive.)

(Interesting Side Note: #174 was the last issue of Adventures of the Unknown!)

(Interesting Side Note 2: That issue is cover-dated August 1967 -- the month that Patler killed Rockwell!)

Yoe's letter is pretty innocuous. He compliments the creators on their books' quality relative to earlier comics, and notes that he was glad they printed fans' addresses because he likes "writing and exchanging views with fans in my own state—Ohio." That evidently was enough to encourage Patler to send him a copy of his comic. Seems to me like a bit of stretch to see that as code for "I want to communicate with Nazis" but as evidenced by his killing this alleged father figure, it doesn't sound like he had a very firm grasp on reality.

Which I think is true for anyone who is that ruled by hatred. If you let your life be run by such negative emotions that it directs even your creative free expression, maybe you need to re-think your life and your priorities. That shit will drain your soul, and make you considerably less human than even the imagined sub-human qualities you see in other races. Sure, not every racist is going to wind up murdering someone like that, but that level of hatred in your life is not going to end well.
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