Popular World War 1 Books
Joe Sacco’s “The Great War”
One hundred years ago today -- July 28 -- the opening shots of World War I were fired, following Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the city of Sarajevo a month earlier. That murder changed the world and The Great War -- later renamed World War I -- has defined the past century like no other event. While supremely important to the history of the 20th Century, the war has not been the subject of as many comics as other conflicts that followed. Often it has been dealt with in small ways, such as in the "Corto Maltese" books and Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's "Lost Girls;" or even the shadow that the events of the war cast over books like Jason Lutes' "Berlin. Other creators have tried different approaches, making it an element if not the subject of their stories -- cartoonist Bud Fisher sent his comic strip characters "Mutt and Jeff" to fight in the war, strips that were later collected into a book "Mutt and Jeff in the Trenches" now out of print. British artist Frank Bellamy produced some exceptional pieces about the war which were collected into the limited edition volume "The Story of World War I. The publisher will release yet another of its EC war collections this October, "Aces High," featuring the work of acclaimed artist George Evans.
We spoke with Sacco about his approach. When you read obsessively about a subject, at some point you begin to wonder about yourself. Why am I reading another book about the First World War? So one of the reasons I agreed to do this panorama was trying to deal with my historical voyeurism: O. It was almost like a penance for a boyhood interest that had lasted so long. When we first talked about my drawing a panorama of the Western front, the idea seemed static.
There's a graphic novel anthology called To End All Wars that's worth checking out. Featuring more than 50 contributors from 13 different countries, the book will be a series of graphic narratives on the topic of the First World War. We have a sneak preview of it right here. The 27 short graphic narratives are based on actual events, characters, circumstances, incidents, myth, or consequences of the Great War. It covers everything from the first aerial bombing of British civilians to the "live and let live" arrangements between the opposing forces. The anthology features the four theatres of war — land, sea, air, and the home front — while the narratives span four continents and draw from both sides of the conflict. They told me that it was designed as a tribute to those who sacrifice all in the insanity of a preventable war.
Soldiers fighting and dying; the killing of civilians by accident or design — all very not funny. But there is another side to war: the behind-the-scenes confusions, the absurdities of large organisations, the hypocrisies and vanities of nations and individuals, the lies we tell ourselves and others, the organisational chaos, the swallowing up of the singular person in the war machine. To get at these other truths about wartime, a different register is necessary.
War comics is a genre of comic books that gained popularity in English-speaking countries following World War II. Shortly after the birth of the modern comic book in the mid- to late s, comics publishers began including stories of wartime adventures in the multi-genre omnibus titles then popular as a format. Even prior to the U. Golden Age publisher Quality Comics debuted its title Blackhawk in ; the title was published more or less continuously until the mids. In the post-World War II era, comic books devoted solely to war stories began appearing, and gained popularity the United States and Canada through the s and even during the Vietnam War. Another prolific publisher of war comics was Charlton Comics , which produced a wide variety of titles beginning in the s, such as Battlefield Action , Fightin' Army , and Fightin' Marines. Quality also began publishing G.