Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Goddamn This War!; Tardi & Verney

 Back in 2010, Fantagraphics released a translated version of Jean-Pierre Verney and Jacques Tardi's It Was The War of the Trenches, a graphic novel about World War I. It is the most fantastic version of World War I that I have ever read or seen. Goddam This War! is Verney and Tardi's follow up graphic novel on WWI that came out fifteen years after It Was The War of the Trenches (when they were originally published in France) and it is every bit as fantastic as its predecessor (but it can be read unto itself even if you haven't read Trenches)!

Tardi is a fantastic (I'm probably going to use that word a lot in this entry!) artist, but as fantastic of an artist as Tardi is, Verney's writing is some of the best writing I've ever read! His writing about the harshness and brutality of WWI is both beautiful and sad in his depiction of the horror. Check out this passage:

"They call it the Sacred way. Why not the Holy and Glorious Rose-Strewn and Incense-Scented Path to Paradise? The more pious the name, the more atrocious the sacrifice and the surer our place at the sie of th Lord, in clouds of phosgene gas...That religious crap has always made me want to puke into holy water."

Or this following passage:

"Berlu got himself killed while he was taking a crap. Decapitated by a shell fragment. He died clutching his ass-scratcher, on which he'd carved the Holy Cross of Jesus, protector of France and the poilus. The poor bastard didn't even have time to wipe himself."

Goddamn This War! get Ich Liebe Comics! highest recommendation! Did I mention that Goddamn This War! is FANTASTIC!?

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