Comic com­mem­o­ra­tion

Comic Heroes - - Interview -

Sev­eral new ti­tles are be­ing re­leased to mark the cen­te­nary of the start of the First World War. An­thol­ogy To End All

Wars, from pub­lisher Soar­ing Pen­guin, fea­tures more than 50 con­trib­u­tors from 13 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Es­tab­lished tal­ents such as Kate Charlesworth and the Pleece Broth­ers rub shoul­ders with less well-known cre­ators such as Joe Gor­don, Andy Luke, Matt Soffe and Selina Lock. The sto­ries cover a range of topics, in­clud­ing shell­shock, the sub­ject of Jonathan Clode’s The Coward’s War.

“I was in­ter­ested in learn­ing about the logic that led the Bri­tish Ex­pe­di­tionary Force to use cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment as a de­ter­rent as much as a pun­ish­ment,” says Clode.

“Per­haps the most fas­ci­nat­ing thing about it all is that shell­shock – or post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, as we now un­der­stand it – wasn’t a gen­uine con­cern un­til well into the war. While the ig­no­rance of the time doesn’t jus­tify the ac­tions of those who signed the death war­rants, it’s eas­ier to un­der­stand than the mod­ern view­point that, in some quar­ters, still tags these men as cow­ards and traitors.”

White Death, a graphic novel by Rob­bie Mor­ri­son ( The Author­ity, Nikolai Dante) and Char­lie Ad­lard ( The Walk­ing Dead) first came out in 1998 and is be­ing re­pub­lished in Au­gust. It de­tails trench war­fare in the Trentino, Dolomite and Ca­poretto moun­tains on the Ital­ian/Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian bor­der. Here, avalanches were used as weapons of war, both sides de­lib­er­ately trig­ger­ing snow slides with their ar­tillery.

Fi­nally, men­tion must be made of the First World War comics of French car­toon­ist Jac­ques Tardi. It Was The War Of The Trenches and God­damn This War! are both avail­able in English from Fan­ta­graph­ics.

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