Saturday, January 29, 2011

Air Ace Picture Library 483 One Moment of Glory

It’s no surprise the Allies won the war. If a feckless wonder like Ben Collis can go around killing people what hope did the Nazis have?
He can fly a Bristol Blenheim like he's ringing a bell, he can pinpoint targets like he’s shooting Wamp rats in Beggar's Canyon, he kills Nazis by the trainload, he brings himself and his crew alive back from every mission. And he’s still not happy!
Put simply Collis is an idiot. But the fates and pocket war comic gods will take this all away from him and turn him into a grease monkey.
Now imagine if he were an American and not some limp Englishman. The story would be forced into a different direction. Instead of flying around and moaning that he’s not in a Hurricane he’d be flying around, blowing up Nazis and saying/muttering/shouting “Want some? – Ha!” “Want some of this?” “Damn Nazis start something!” “Want me to finish it!” –ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Instead when he gets excited he says "wizard".

Otherwise it's a pretty good story where the hero gets want he wants only to throw it away for one moment of glory - but in a nice little play on the title he gets another chance at that one moment.
However in the art department I get the feeling this story may have undergone a few revisions or was made up on the fly. The barrage balloons appear to have been created with some disinterest and look hastily drawn. The interior of the Blenheim looks like it shouldn't (without going into detail) it looks very spacious and comfortable. Also most of the uniforms are just a little too neat for my liking.  Also the aircraft look more like the idea of what they should look like rather than what they actually look like.

In the end Collis mans up, give himself an uppercut and gets on with it.

Those Nazis know how to make the local till a field.

Lessons for bad guys number 23. Don't go around saying how you wish it wasn't you. You'll only bring your comrades to a sticky end.

How could the Germans expect to win after being faced with such politeness?

From now on this is how I cus..."Name of a dog!"

 Ahhh the early Blenheim Mk1. Sex in the skies having a smack at the Nazi war machine.

Why car D.K384?

You kill people for living. Keep it together man!You're starting to creep me out.

...a small one man fighter could penetrate the defences...

Fritz was an idiot. All the other guys in the flak unit knew it and they did their best to ignore him.

 ...badly drawn barrage balloons. That'll keep the bombers away.

Oh that instance between Agggh! and the end!

 Just like shooting Wamp rats in Beggar's Canyon.

Nazi aerial euthanasia ridding the skies of loony Englishmen since 1939.

Expensive clatter - much much worse than the cheap ones.

Seems like a fair exchange, eight rockets for six Tiger tanks.

Run you scared Nazis!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Air Ace Picture Library 326 War in the Air

Fantastic! Only if more pocket war comics could have this depth of writing and inspirational artwork.

War in the Air proves that you can fit a good story in only 58 pages.

Shot down and captured on his very first mission, Flying Officer Jimmy Durrance watches a surrendering Blenheim from the imaginatively named YD Squadron deceive it's 2 escorting Messerschmitts and destroy them. Durrance wasn't the only witness to this act. Incensed by this treacherous disregard of aeronautical protocol the Germans vow revenge against the offending squadron.

This is an interesting angle for an Air Ace Picture Library with the British as the target for revenge - usually it's the other way around. The Nazi's really can't bring themselves to let bygones be bygones (they're like that you know!) and keep their vendetta going for more than 2 years.  For a self-proclaimed "lucky" squadron, YD squadron really take a beating and are on the brink of being disbanded. Can only make you think what was happening to the "unlucky" squadrons around them.

Of course Durrance manages to escape allowing for a few frames of POW tunnel digging action. Once he regains his lines who will be revealed as the British pilot who did the dirty on the Germans?

The illustrations in War in the Air are pretty darn good with the illustrator using as few lines as possible to great effect. The panel structure also seems to be influenced by DC or Marvel comics. Even though nobody says Aaargh! this is a clever bit of writing and illustrating.

Given a few more pages I would have ended this story a little differently - but this is a good one as it stands.

 That's a bit of a tight fit. Too many cream buns and they'll take you off the flying list.

I think "nicely" is a very apt term for this picture.

Look at the front of this Blenheim it looks like it's been designed by steam punks.

Nice panel layout .

Shouldn't that be "voxing"?

Nice layout.

Com'n skip - it's a enough to make a bloke paranoid.

Ahhh...the privileges of rank in the bath hut.

Damn fine tash and damn fine cravat.

Rules for Bad Guys # 276. Never ever say our "anythings" will stop the enemy. It's a sure fire way to make sure they don't.

A man on a mission!
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