THE DIRTY DOZEN; THE BEST 12 COMMANDO COMIC BOOKS EVER! edited by GEORGE LOW

 |   |  1 min read

THE DIRTY DOZEN; THE BEST 12 COMMANDO COMIC BOOKS EVER! edited by GEORGE LOW

Those weary of the on-going acclaim for sophisticated graphic novels -- essentially comic books for adults with layered novelistic narratives and innovative graphic design -- will welcome this fat, old school collection of a dozen 60s comic books from the Commando series chosen by the magazine’s longtime editor George Low.

Here are simple yarns of derring-do from the Second World War where the Germans are referred to as the Hun, Boche, Jerries, squareheads and so on (often with adjectives like cruel, hate-filled, nasty) and Italians are “Eyeties”. British troops on the other hand are the Royal Westshires and the Cornshires, take their orders from Whitehall, and have nicknames like Titch and Cobber. 

Germans say things like, “Pah, they fight like women” about the French and utter “Mein Gott” as they are blown up, while a British sergeant puts on an officer’s coat and cap and heads out towards the German sniper with, “I’m going forward as bait. He’ll shoot at me in this uniform -- keep your eyes peeled for the flash from his rifle.”

Yugoslav patriots charge the enemy with ringing phrases such as, “Death to the nazis, defilers of our country”.

You get the picture: this world is less complex place, the lines between friend and foe are as defined as a uniform (although in one story two brave Tommies don German gear to sneak into an enemy camp), and good men either die young and heroically, or win the day.

No women clutter up the action or complicate matters.

Told in simple frames (no jagged edges or unframed art as in graphic novels) these are simple, although not simplistic stories, which are pure escapism, but come with what we might today see overt racism in the stereotypes.

Yet the work by the anonymous artists is dramatic and -- when it comes to guns, tanks, artillery and aircraft -- rendered with an eye for detail. The stories also have plot twists worthy of any classic war film and Commando, launched in 1961, is so successful it is still published today.

Leave this one on the coffee table and you’ll get reactions from “Wow, I used to read Commando!” to PC-friends and sensitive guests strongly objecting to it.

If nothing else, The Dirty Dozen will be a conversation starter.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Writing articles index

THE NEW 1000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE by PATRICIA SCHULTZ

THE NEW 1000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE by PATRICIA SCHULTZ

Any book of lists with a number in the title perhaps deserves some mathematical anaylsis. So first, the numbers. The 2003 original edition of this book sold three million copies and was number... > Read more

THE ESSENTIAL SPIKE MILLIGAN complied by ALEXANDER GAMES

THE ESSENTIAL SPIKE MILLIGAN complied by ALEXANDER GAMES

On New Zealand's national Poetry Day in 2004 a television news team buttonholed people on the street and asked them to recite a piece of poetry. One guy did an impromptu local variant of Spike... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The Live Anthology (Universal)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The Live Anthology (Universal)

They used to say you could always judge a band by its covers. But today many bands write "originals" which sound exactly like their influences (like these people), or seem to be above... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Original Album Series; Tommy James and the Shondells

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Original Album Series; Tommy James and the Shondells

One of the best, most revealing and somewhat scary books about the inside story of the American pop music business in the money-no-go-round Sixties came from Tommy James, the man who scored hit... > Read more