Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graphic history

We have a fascinating new book on the shelves that presents the waste and brutality of World War I in a graphic novel format.  It was the war of the trenches is the work of French artist Jacques Tardi.  Pulling in recollections from his grandfather (a WWI vet to whom this book is dedicated) and various books and films about the war (there is a nice bibliography in the back), Tardi leaves the 'facts' of the war to other writers and instead focuses on the 'feel' of war.  This is a collection of memories, instances, and anecdotes that convey the reality of trench warfare.  Although it is told from the perspective of the French footsoldier, Tardi points out in his introduction that the experience was universally brutal for all sides.
This is not our only graphic novel that deals with historical events.  If you are moved by Tardi's work, try these other graphic novels:
  • The Vietnam War : a graphic history by Dwight Zimmerman, art by Wayne Vansant
  • Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
  • The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, & Frédéric Lemercier
  • Che: a graphic biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
  • Nelson Mandela : the authorized comic book by the Nelson Mandela Foundation

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