Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: World War One

   The Great War. The War to End All Wars. We now call it World War One, and it proved to be a changer in world history. Empires and aristocracies virtually ended, new borders were created and industrial and economic courses for many people around the world would be set by the war's outcome.
George in a short time quickly becomes a season veteran whose experiences leave new soldiers shaken.
   Campfire Graphics has put out a new historical account of World War One following the lives and deaths of several British soldiers who see almost all angles of the war from beginning to end. Narrated by George Smith, an under-age Englishman who enlists in the infantry. From the start, the book details the messy, wet, gloomy atmosphere that hung over the men fighting in the trenches and the ridiculous toll the tactics took on both sides. Written by Alan Cowsill, 109 pages are used to cover their journey, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the last minutes before the 11:00 end of the war on Nov. 11, 1914.
 Cowsill's narrative is not too lengthy for the frames and stays steady, allowing the reader to keep a pace that doesn't drag during the story. Things that would bog down the story with proper explanation are instead given mention of being important along with  locations and dates, making it easy for amateur historians to look up and find more information if they want. The war shown as meaning different things to different people. For some of the ladies at home, it means a chance to attach themselves to the battle glory of their husbands, boyfriends, brothers or fathers. For the men returning, it means a mind forever filled with the horrors of war as artillery, chemical warfare, starvation, senseless charges and the stress of their general conditions push some beyond their mental and physical limits.
The living conditions were as brutal as the fighting and it took a toll on many soldiers.
 Lalit Kumar Sharma is the artist on this book and his work is phenomenal! Sharma has a clarity of detail mixed with a raw and rough feel to the backgrounds and subjects. Put into a war comic, it frankly reminded me a bit of the legendary Joe Kubert's style wich is perhaps the highest praise an artist could get on a war comic.
Details aren't lost, yet there is an organic ruggedness to the art.
 As always, Campfire includes additional information and facts at the end of the book that should encourage kids to want to learn more. For a price of $12.99 you are definitely getting your money's worth on this title.

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