Friday, December 06, 2013

GODDAMN THIS WAR by Tardi

GODDAMN THIS WAR (PUTAIN DE GUERRE) is the latest translation of Jacques Tardi's work into English, this time a six chapter chronicle of World War I, one for each year from 1914 to 1919, from the perspective of a French foot soldier. It starts off a bit slow, but picks up quickly as all of the insanity and stupidity of war being to wear on the already cynical narrator. That's also seen in the art, which starts off with a lot of bright colours with the shiny new uniforms and green fields, but quickly shifts to more muted tones, with occasional use of brighter colours. Definitely worth reading, especially the last chapter, which breaks format and mostly just tells single panel stories about people caught in the war. A few bits of the script seemed off, like the comparison of backed up ambulances to "cabs in a New York traffic jam", which I'm not sure is a metaphor a French soldier in 1918 would make, but I might be wrong, and those are minor issues. Probably my favourite of the Tardi books I've read.  This edition also includes a long year-by-year chronology of the war by Jean-Pierre Verney, heavily illustrated with photographs, which I haven't read, but a quick glance at the photos is an interesting look at the research material Tardi would have had for his story, and I'm sure supply some welcome material for those interested in the background of the battles shown from the foot soldier's point of view in the comics.

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