Genre: Graphic Novel, WWI
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
World War I, that awful, gaping wound in the history of Europe, has longbeen an obsession of Jacques Tardi s. It Was the War of the Trenches is Tardi s defining, masterful statement on the subject. Tardi is not interested in the national politics, the strategies, or the battles.Like Remarque, he focuses on the day to day of the grunts in the trenches, and, with icy, controlled fury and disgust, with sardonic yet deeply sympathetic narration, he brings that existence alive as no one has before or since. Yet he also delves deeply into the underlying causes of the war, the madness, the cynical political exploitation of patriotism. And in a final, heartbreaking coda, Tardi grimly itemizes the ghastly human cost of the war, and lays out the future20th century conflicts, all of which seem to spring from this global burst of insanity.
My thoughts:It was a bit jumpy so for that it would get a 2, but still he used poems and the way the novel was done, well it gets a 3 for that. Impressed I was not, but it was still a very good WWI graphic novel. It showed the horror in its truth.
I liked the way it portrayed war. The horrible thing is not men killing the enemy. It's war after all. Yes it is unimaginable why it is being done, but that is the way it always have been. The horrible thing here is killing your own.
There was the man who did not understand French and was sentenced to death for not following an order. It was the man when the war started who did not stand up and praise France and was beaten to death. It was the Jewish man sent out to take down a corpse, a task everyone knew would kill him. The men who tried to take a trench, but had to turn back, and then was shelled by their own for being cowards. It was the women and children being used as human shields and was killed because the enemy was behind them. It was the man who did not ran fast enough and was killed by their own for it. That is the horrible fact of war.
"I'm back. I got lost. In which trench, and for how much longer, the mud, the cold, the rats, the fear and the lice?