Wartime ‘Toons: Ben Schneider’s Airman Artless

Ben Schneider has been an active duty maintainer in the military for 15 years. At 41, he has seen his fair share of the world, having traveled to Italy, Japan and Korea, among others. The exposure to various people and cultures has inspired the ideas behind his comic strips.

Airman Artless is a series of cartoons which Schneider recently began rolling out on Amazon and via social media. The strips concerns the comic mishaps of America’s troops.

The ideas behind each strip were largely influenced by exchanges that he had with the indigenous people of the countries he’s stayed in or his fellow military personnel. “Sometimes by working with them, sometimes by exchanging stories with them.”

Schneider explained the impetus behind his comics. As he explains, “The reason I created Airman Artless cartoons is so the best moments in my life are never forgotten.”

Although he hasn’t yet decided on whether or not the Airman Artless saga is on-going, his existing body of work is enough to keep people chuckling for some time to come. As Schneider is quick to point out, “Prospective buyers should know they don’t have to be in the military to get the jokes. Therefore, they will appeal to average people. Also, I made it a point to include my funniest work in the books. Plus, I stress quality over quantity.”

The series is a far cry from the sort of humor typical of the 21st century, stressing safety and other military concerns rather than wallowing in cynicism or acerbic barbs. “It is not intended to disparage the military,” Schneider says.

Check out Airman Artless here. For more from Ben Schneider, give his book Chrome Mountain a read.


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