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!


  1. Great post! Another reason for loving these pocket war comics is the great, super-acurate drawings of aircraft and hardware. The Bristol Blenheim was the coolest bomber Britain had, and one of the best of all time. What great drawings!!

  2. Thats definitely an Ian Kennedy cover and it looks like his work on the interior art as well.

  3. Derek thanks for letting me know. I just love his line work.

  4. Thank you,Jovan!
    What year was this published?
    /Mr Anonymous

  5. I'm pretty sure it was published on the 20th of February, 1967.

  6. Afraid to say, the Bristol Blenheim was not at all cool, all marks were seriously underpowered,
    carried small bomb loads, puny defensive armament, but at the beginning of ww2, along with deathtraps like the Fairy Battle, they were all we had.Brave pilots. Ever wondered why
    we bought so many Bostons, Hudsons, Marauders etc off the Yanks? (They made us keep paying for them tuill the 1980s though....)

  7. I agree. The bravery of those pilots is unimaginable. I had the chance to see a Marauder up close a couple of years ago and was shocked to see how little room there is one of those things. Surely the chance of parachuting out of any the aircraft that you mentioned would be next to zero.
    Also I never knew that payments for equipment were finalised in the 1980's. Surely the payment in lost lives would have been enough. Do you know if the Brits charged the US for use of English airfields?


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