Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Battle Picture Library 122 Hold Until Relieved

At first I thought I had pulled a dud one from my collection for reviewing - but by page six I was hooked and loving the gritty inky artwork, style and and story.

The story centres around a sergeant on trial for abandoning his post and the efforts of his men to clear his name. There's a lot of ruin and destruction in this story and vehicles are rare - I think there may be just one in there somewhere. Besides being good at pouring ink onto the page the artist also uses the handy trick of drawing officers' uniforms intentionally large. Which for some reason makes the commissioned classes appear untrustworthy. I don't understand the psychology behind it but it works. I particularly liked the panels set around the ruined old mill wheel house - it's ugly stuff for an at times ugly story.

As mentioned before I thought I had picked up a dud as at first I didn't like the drawing style - but the further I got into the story the deeper the ink got into my veins. As always in reading a pocket war comic my mind races forward with expectations of "how is this going to end". Will it run true the stereotypical formula war comic ending or will something else happen? Thankfully Hold Until Relieved manages to end close off on a less than usual note.

Still it has all the elements that make up a formula story- the squad loyal to the sergeant, the one dissenter who hates him, the voice-of-reason-corporal who reminds one and all "he's saved your skin a number of times" and of course the stupid replacement officer who doesn't listen to the sergeant.

I get the feeling that someone who may have been in or near a battle or had access to someone who had may have written Hold Until Relieved.

So for a war comic that doesn't have any tanks or planes in it - this is very good. Hold Until Relieved is gritty and dirty and only a little bit cheesy. The best part about this Battle Picture Library story is the way the ink has been poured into each page and panel.

I was hooked by the time I got to page 6.

I just the love the dirty, gritty, inky style

Inky as bro.

Now there's a better than average cheesy line "...Irish the company of a mills grenade!"

Wow! A Donner und Ugh! and an AAGH!

Not a bad decision just bitter.

Excellent final panel.

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