"Oh no it looks like Cutter's bought it!" If this statement makes sense to you, you've come to the right place.
Monday, July 26, 2010
War Picture Library 45 The Price of Freedom
Heroic Italians? In a comic about World War 2? Well you better believe it!!
Except for a few stereotypical clunkers involving uncomplimentary attitudes towards spaghetti and narrative concerns over the “incessant chatter” of Italians and their inability to annunciate simple English phrases the Italians come out looking pretty good in The Price of Freedom.
Even though the focus of the story is on the adventures of Kiwi Captain Pug Meyburgh and English Sergeant Tom Decker from the retreat in North Africa to their capture, internment and escape and then their bid for freedom it is the host of heroic Italians that truly make the story strong. These include the well meaning Private Bruzzi, the private citizen Babbino, the silent but shrewd scout Truffi and brave Sergeant Ruffini (who was responsible for the capture of Meyburgh and Decker).
Furthermore the story is enhanced by a see-sawing tactical situation in the 2nd half of the book.
The artist for The Price of Freedom provides some exceptional ink work and appears to revel in the use of black. And not just for night settings or for dramatic punctuation. Copious amounts of blank ink are used throughout giving this War Picture Library comic a wonderful quality.
Also it is very well written with the story being revealed, with right amount of information being provided as the story progresses.
The Price of Freedom would lend itself very well to some back story creation. There's more to know about the characters. What made Decker drive through the desert picking up wounded men? What of the soldiers who gave up their places so the wounded could get aid? How did Truffi become silent and shrewd. And what was Ruffini doing all that time while Meyburgh and Decker were in prison?
Another smug Nazi officer. Where do they find so many of them?
I can't figure out if this is more Allo Allo or Blackadder.
Did he spend time in Brooklyn?
Why can't they all have stiff upper lips?
More ink. We need more ink.
There's lot going on in this one.
Cravat, tash, bandage and stiff upper lip! All man!!
Evil looking lot. Nice panel though.
Nice Aaagh! with a little Uh! thrown in for counterpoint.
No it's not.It's all about being gallant and sacrifice and being noble!
Take any War Picture Library, Battle Picture Library or Commando comic and you will always find those famous last words “arrgghhhhh” or even “donner und blitzen”.
Cowards try to prove themselves or officers interfere by trying to run battles “by the book”. The enemy is treacherous. Mysterious locations hold significant secrets. Sometimes a simple gun is the focal point of a unique karmic destiny.
There are those who are lost or left behind enemy lines where they invariably make a discovery – a hidden base, a wonder weapon or a traitor. The host of intangible struggles are often more significant such as the dark secret, the family shame, the family curse or the stigma of not being like the other chaps.
Strangely enough for stories about war and battle the killed the dead and the dying are usually absent.
There's a lot to like (and make fun of) among the dramatic titles, fantastic artwork, impossible stories, daring heroes, nasty bad guys, body building and not quite diamond rings advertisements.