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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

EC - Enemy Assault (Davis)

Enemy Assault
art by Jack Davis, story by Harvey Kurtzman
Frontline Combat #1 (1951)

A Korean war story here, told first person by an American soldier in the trenches near enemy lines. Lots of good "grunt" talk from Kurtzman in the narration, like "If you want to know if a man is scared, ask him to spit! The inside of my mouth is bone dry!". The soldier sees all his own men killed in an attack, and is alone in the trenches with a Chinese soldier. They talk as they wait to see which side ends up taking the battle, and it turns out the Chinese soldier knows English because he'd worked for an American businessman in Hong Kong and traveled to New York with the businessman, living not far from where the American soldier went to school. They exchange baby pictures, but then when the war finally catches up to them the American shoots the Chinese soldier to protect another American.

Great moody Davis art throughout this story, using a lot of static camera angles separated by seconds in time to depict the sudden nature of some of the action, and Kurtzman keeping his words to a minimum at key parts to let the art do its work.

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