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Back Issue #127 Jun 2021 (magazine review).

July 1, 2021 | By | Reply More

I will admit that I’ve never been a fan of American war comics. Saying that editor Mike Eury’s editorial of how he got Brian Bolland’s picture of Sgt. Rock for the cover is a pointer for all professionals to have some form of contact details on the Net these days.

Like a lot of the comedy war mags, the likes of Charlton’s ‘Beetle Bailey’ didn’t make much of an impression over here although there was some distribution when I was young. Steven Thompson fills in the gaps in my knowledge, pointing out that regardless of fatigues, they were just oddballs trying to get on who just happened to be in the army.

The Atlas/Seaboard output in the form of ‘Sgt. Stryker’ was more to do with being publisher Martin Goodman’s attempt to emulate Sgt. Fury as writer Don Vaughan explains. His copying the style rather than aiming to use the talent he took from Marvel was definitely a wrong move.

Some things turn out as more of a surprise. I hadn’t realised the stories in Marvel’s ‘War Is Hell’ had an SF slant with John Kowalski literally doing a ‘Quantum Leap’ into other people’s lives in wartime situations.

DC’s ‘different kind of war comic’ ‘Blitzkrieg’ has failure written all over it when Robert Kaingher wanted to do a German perspective and not all of them wanted to be in the war.

Just as I was getting really down and not sure if I should read about Marvel’s ‘The ‘Nam’, Richard J. Arndt does it as a series of interviews with those involved. Interestingly, it not only won the best media representation award of the Viet Nam war but actually outsold the X-Men. From the information here, it didn’t hold back from showing what happened and only went a little super-hero-like towards the end of its run, albeit with a non-skulled Frank Castle.

The look at Larry Hama’s ‘The Nth Man’ did reveal it was only supposed to run 24 issues, but got stopped at 16, and to be later turned into a graphic novel, that was never achieved neither. Then again, as Hama reveals, Marvel didn’t really know what to do with the title and didn’t promote it. I have vague memories of the first issue but, like most people, I automatically picked up first issues.

It’s very weird with an issue like this. I think I would have had some reservations if I had to buy an issue devoted to war comics. On the other hand, I also learnt a lot more about them that I didn’t know before.

GF Willmetts

June 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1560

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Category: Comics, Magazines

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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