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 at Elsewhere articles index

BUPPIES, B-BOYS, BAPS AND BOHOS by NELSON GEORGE: Life on the black planet

BUPPIES, B-BOYS, BAPS AND BOHOS by NELSON GEORGE: Life on the black planet

When Time magazine declared then New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani its "person of the year" for 2001 -- over Osama Bin Laden who, like it or not, appeared to have made a greater... > Read more

ONE TWO THREE FOUR: THE BEATLES IN TIME by CRAIG BROWN

ONE TWO THREE FOUR: THE BEATLES IN TIME by CRAIG BROWN

In 1963 when she was 14, Melanie Coe from Stamford Hill in London won a dance competition in a television studio. One of the members of the band in a nearby studio presented her with a copy of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Taylor Swift To Drop Massive Xmas Box Set For Fans

Taylor Swift To Drop Massive Xmas Box Set For Fans

Nashville, NYC – Pop star Taylor Swift has surprised fans twice this year with unexpected albums, Folklorica and Evergreen, but she has one more surprise in store: a 30 CD box set released... > Read more

EGBERTO GISMONTI: Guitarist with a much-stamped passport

EGBERTO GISMONTI: Guitarist with a much-stamped passport

They say truth is where you find it. For Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer Egberto Gismonti it was there among the Indian peoples of the remote Xingu region of the Amazonian jungle back... > Read more