Excellent!, Excellent, Excellent! Just last week, here at Alternate Reality Comics (where we're experiencing a heat wave in late January, here in Vegas!), I received what I thought was a new U.S. release of a great World War I graphic novel by French cartoonist, Jacques Tardi, called, It Was The War Of The Trenches (I'm going to call it Trenches for the rest of this entry so that I don't use up to much space here on the internet). Well it turns out Trenches was released last April here in the U.S. and I somehow missed it the first time around! I was going to call it the first great graphic novel of 2011 that I've read, but now I'm going to more correctly call it one of the VERY best graphic novels of 2010!
Trenches is a fictionalized account of some French and German soldiers in the trenches during World War I, but other than the fictionalized characters, everything else has an historical accuracy (not that I was there, but trust me, this reads as I imagine things played out during that war).
As you can tell from this interior page and the cover above, Tardi is a great cartoonist, but he's also a great wordsmith as illustrated by these two following passages:
"Dufour died at dawn, of course... He was given just a short moment's respite. His suffering abated for a few seconds, he regained a taste for life, and that's when he died. Condemned men quite often expire at dawn, after a whole night of pointless suffering."
"Fuck, why is it every last one of 'em is so obsessed with his mother? Mommy provides cannon fodder, the fruit of her loins, it squirts into the world dressed in a helmet and armed to the teeth...mother nature...that's what's human about it'...Not much to be proud of...all the way back to the Stone Age, everyone always has a club in their mitts, so to speak...not a hell of a lot of evolution goin' on, 'cept for the mustard gas, the shrapnel grenade or the incendiary bomb, little unimportant details like that...but always the same basic idea! You shouldn't throw little kids like us into the steaming-guts arena...Mommy, that wasn't a very nice thing to do!"
Powerful stuff, aye!?
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