Monday, January 21, 2013

Cover of the Week War Picture Library 17 Commandos Die Hard

Before Bruce baby had a crack at it and made it his own - Die Hard belonged to another bunch of blokes. These guys are so tough they don't even need weapons to fight the enemy let alone a sneaky bloke called Hans. So when the going gets tough the tough clearly have the right idea about where they need to be.

For me the best member of this trio is the figure obscuring his face with his hand. Has he suffered a wound or is he merely making sure his tin hat is staying where it should? I enjoy the ambiguity whether it is intentional or not. Our friend in the middle has a fair degree of being manic about him, nicely supported by his colleague trying to restrain him.

This is a nice example of early War Picture Library cover artwork - so old that it is published by AP and not Fleetway. It doesn't have the edge of later pocket war comics - but it does carry charm, if that is the right word for it. So there is a story going on here. Why is the man in the middle being restrained? Why are their weapons on the ground and not in their hands? I can't quite pick the quality that pegs this as a pre 1960s piece of art but it clearly is because it was published in 1959. Perhaps it's a combination of the colour range and the rather flat faces. So in that context I'm going 8/10.

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