Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3447:
As you can tell from the top left photo of this blog post... I have a 'personal' interest in this book about World War I. Even though my grandfather, Aloyisus 'Ollie' Hamersky was not a 'tommy', he was one of many 'yanks' who was sent 'over there' in the 'Great War'. But enough about my family... What's this book about?
Here's what the publisher has as a promo for this book:
"From renowned UK comics writer Pat Mills (Marshal Law, Sláine) and legendary artist Joe Colquhoun (Johnny Red) comes a truly classic piece of British comics history, by turns thrilling, humorous and horrifying.
In 1916, Charley Bourne lies about his age to enlist and fight on the battlefields of France. But thoughts of glory and patriotism are swept aside by bloody horror and needless sacrifice as artillery rains down on the trenches of the First World War.
Rich in the detailed minutiae of the terror-punctuated existence of a ‘Tommy’, Charley’s War features a brand new introduction and ‘director’s commentary’ by Pat Mills, a cultural history of the comic, and an essay on the Battle of the Somme."
Okay... The above is pretty much what I read in this book.
You see... Charley's War is mostly about the story of a 'simple-minded', yet quick-witted teenager named Charley Bourne. Like so many during those days, Charley lied about his age and signed up in 1916 to "fight the Hun for King and Country".
So like many other 'tommys', he found himself in what many called "Hell" in the trenches of France. During the period that this book covers, he makes slowly makes friends, yet struggles to survive the living hell amid a company of strange persons of the same rank. And stranger yet, all of them are under orders from ranking officers, many whom come across as either simpletons, psychopaths, or out and out uncaring career military men out to make a name for themselves!
The writer of this story uses what could be called a 'gimmick' in that there are Charley's letters to his parents in his own way of spelling, and the return letters from his family and other family members.
Yet, I found myself engaged in reading each of the chapters presented, as this was originally a comic book feature during the 1980s. So there are multiple chapters with breaks and partial recaps.
I found this book to very well researched, very well written, and the artwork is fantastic, even though it is in black & white, which was just fine for me!
Again, although my grandfather was a 'yank' I could just imagine a 'little taste' of what he must have gone through as well.
My comic book grade for this hardcover book is a NEAR MINT MINUS (NM-) 9.2 out of a possible 10.0 grading scale. The reason being, when the book was first brought to my attention, I had no idea there were seven volumes already in this series! I thought there was just the one book, and maybe he died? That fact there are already 7 of them since 2005 is maybe a bit much for me to think about purchasing all of them... Although I wouldn't mind reading more of them! The 8th volume is being released this upcoming October... Maybe I should ask a local library to buy 'em all? This first one was that good!
Here's the info for purchasing the book:
Hardcover: 112 pages
Here's the link where YOU can buy it online, as I don't have it listed for sale in my online comic book shop: Charley's War (Vol. 1): 2 June - 1 August 1916
Again, this book is a great start for compiling into hardcover format what was printed years ago in UK Comic Book format!
~Michael D Hamersky
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~ Michael D HamerskyNote: My online 'Local' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item that was reviewed here today...!
If I have it... You can find it 'Under The Big Top Of Comics' at:
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