Civil War Adventure hits shelves today
Comic Books and Graphic Novels continue to entertain in unexpected ways. Last week I was surprised to open a graphic novel and see artwork that harkened back to my days of reading Savage Sword of Conan. The graphic novel was an early release of Civil War Adventure by Chuck Dixon and Gary Kwapisz. The book contained ten stories about the civil war taking looks at both sides of conflict. A sort of memoir of the dead that brings us a certain insight into what might have been.
Kwapisz, best known for his Save Sword of Conan artwork, gives us a vision of the time that is somehow exaggerated and yet feels right. His characters are the focal point of the imagery and the backgrounds are often left to the imagination. I could feel the passion of the characters through their body language and facial expressions and the B&W artwork was a good fit for the style of the stories. A couple of other artists provide a touch of variety to the package but it was not needed as Kwapisz does such a marvelous job. Perhaps I am biased but the feel of nostalgia that overtook me while reading this book was quite emotional.
One of the cool elements of the book was the Map of the United States and a Civil War Timeline. These two tools give us a way to visualize the war and fit in the stories that are to follow. The stories span the length of the war but fail to offer up any major lessons or even push any political agenda. Instead they tell us of the hardships faces by the men and women living through this tumultuous time of our nations history. The stories are compelling and give the reader an unforgettable connection to a time that must never be forgotten. I am compelled to have my grandchildren read these stories when they begin studying this moment in our history. I feel that it may give insights that are left out in our modern schools.
My favorite story from the book is Tempered in Blood. The story follows our protagonists as they push through the terrible Battle of Bull Run, I couldn’t help but feel a great sadness as the battle raged on and soldier died by the score. In the end we see one side victorious but as the years of the war pass by, that victory seems short lived.
“There’s plenty of battlefield chaos, to be sure, but the tales are clearly a product of meticulous research and loaded with insights into the monotony and terror of fighting in a war.” ― Booklist
Take aim alongside a thin line of Union sharpshooters at Gettysburg. Ride with John Mosby, the South’s greatest raider, on a daring foray inside Union lines. Dodge grapeshot and cannonballs on a journey down the Mississippi aboard the Union Ram Fleet. These ten gripping tales from both sides of the conflict recapture the excitement, history, and tragedy of the American Civil War. In addition to fictional stories set within historical events, this illustrated anthology includes excerpts from biographies and eyewitness accounts, a timeline, and several maps. Fact pages following each story provide fascinating details.
Formerly available only in an extremely limited edition, Civil War Adventure combines the talents of Eisner-nominated author Chuck Dixon, the writer of such popular series as Batman and Green Arrow, and artist Gary Kwapisz, best known for his illustrations for Marvel Comics’ The Savage Sword of Conan.Reprint of Civil War Adventure 1, Real History: Stories of the War that Divided America, History Graphics Press, Lebanon, Virginia, 2009.
Civil War Adventure By Chuck Dixon & Gary Kwapisz, with Esteve Polls, Enrique Villagran, Silvestre & Erik Burnham (Dover Comics & Graphic Novels) ISBN: 978-0-486-79509-6 goes on sale today and may be found at your local comicbook stores or ordered directly at Dover Publications.
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