Monday, December 6, 2010

War Picture Library 74 Front Line

If you went through life and everybody around you kept on getting killed - wouldn't you develop some sort of phobia? Bob Maxwell is that kind of a man. However he has an excuse - he's in the middle of a war.

To start off with his company gets wiped out. Then the counter attack fails...and this is just the beginning. Where ever he goes the places, the things and the people around him get shot-up, blown-up or machine gunned.

Even the favoured Lieutenant gets it - only he is replaced by a puffed up arrogant and ignorant artillery captain who is beautifully drawn as he is instantly unlikeable. Front Line is doing well as a story until all of a sudden there is an Old Chateau found intact, unravaged, fully furnished, and complete with all fixtures and fittings all in place. It looks like it's ready to list on or feature in an episode of Location, Location, Location or have Joan Rivers rummage through it on How Did You Get So Rich?

Then there is the family legend that the chateau will fall when the last male heir dies. Then guess which Frenchman, of all the Frenchmen in the world, manages to crash land his Typhoon into the front yard and flatten the garden gnomes and tyre swans?

After this point there are no surprises - which is a bit of shame as I was just getting used to them.

The artwork is also not immune to a surprise or two. Some of the work is fluid but most of it is stiff. The cover has an unfinished quality to it - well at least to my untrained eyes. However the expression of the man with the sten gun does well to evoke a mixture of horror, angst and fear. Between the covers the artwork has its highs and lows as mentioned before - but the artist's invitation to dislike the artillery captain can only be immediately accepted.

Front Line is one of those pocket war comic stories that is mostly enjoyable.

Even though the subject matter is a bit grim this is a good looking panel.

That under the hat Aaargh! looks like a hasty redraw.

It might appear odd Sir, but this really is a regimental tradition and you being an officer and all should be used to this kind of thing.

Nice Typhoon in a spot of bother.

Hints and tips for bad guys number 17. When your comrade calls you by your first name during an enemy attack it's time to RUN.

Ha ha! This guy looks like me stumbling home after a big night out.

Captain Wingnut takes the lead.

Boy that was lucky.

Top marks to the artist on the artillery Captain. How can someone be so unlikeable in so few lines?

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