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Charley's War: 2 June 1916 - 1 August 1916

por Pat Mills, Joe Colquhoun (Ilustrador)

Séries: Charley's War (1)

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From UK comics writer Pat Mills (Marshal Law, Slaine) and artist Joe Colquhoun (Johnny Red) comes piece of British comics history. In 1916, Charley Bourne lies about his age to enlist and fight on the battlefields of France. But thoughts of glory and patriotism are swept aside by the bloody artillery barrage of horror.… (mais)
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"We've got a right Charlie here, Sarge, he says he is eighteen — but he can't even add up! He's given his date of birth as 1900!"
"You don't need to be clever to fight in the trenches — he's a tough-looking lad — he'll do!


It's 2 June, 1916, and young Charley wants to help out his country, even though he's not old enough to enroll. He's not the brightest crayon in the box, but he's a good kid, so he decides to try and fib it. The recruiters accept him anyhow, since they need bodies, and, as the "sarge" points out, he's a tough-looking lad. Charley is just in time to start getting acquainted with life in the trenches before going into the Battle of the Somme, which began on 1 July, and cost 20,000 British soldiers (including 60% of their leading officers) their lives on that day, while another 40,000 were injured. By the time the battle was over the Allies had made few gains and never penetrated further than seven and a half miles, yet the cost was 420,000 British casualties and another 200,000 French.

Pat Mills was none too pleased with the overly many "war is hell" style items that, as he says, "may claim to be anti-war but are actually not. [...] I'm told US soldiers watched the 'War is Hell'-style movies, such as Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now, to psyche themselves up just before going into combat in Iraq. I doubt those same US soldiers also watched All Quiet on the Western Front, which was one of the role models for Charley." He wrote something deeper, a heavily researched character-driven drama, with controversial anti-war statements right in your face, unable to be ignored. Not only was his story anti-war, but he also kept center the fact that WW1 was at heart a class war. His amazingly written story combined with Joe Colquhouns brilliantly detailed art, is unrivaled.

"Tell Aunty Mabel I'll have a word with General Haig if I sees him. But its funny, you never sees no generals in the trenches."

This is something everyone should read. It's deep and moving and angry and real. ( )
1 vote .Monkey. | Feb 1, 2014 |
The start of Charley's story in World War I. Charley volunteers, underage, to fight in World War I and in Battle Magazine they tell his story. Charley is an everyman, not based on a real person but based on real stories and experiences from that time. Not written in praise of war but to shine a spotlight on how horrific it all was, how many young men lost their lives, often needlessly. An important series and one that I only caught pieces of during my youth.

It's pretty graphic, but graphic because that's how things were rather than being needlessly graphic, a story that needs reading and a good teaching tool to bring World War I to life for people. There's a lot of detail in the story.

The book provides not only an introduction but commentary and an essay putting Charley's War in context.

This is one of those books that both myself and my husband read and found interesting. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 13, 2010 |
A 16 year old boy signs up for the British Army and is sent to the Somme. This, the first volume, sees the build up to the opening of the Somme. Charley is idealistic and believes he is there for a good reason. And through incompetence, evil, stupidity and bravery we are shown the horrors of the First World War.
A truly brilliant comic and a scathing attack on war. Superbly drawn, excellently written, a must read. ( )
  munchkinstein | Jan 8, 2009 |
As regular readers know, I read graphic novels. Charley’s War is top notch, to the point where I slow down and go through it slowly so as to make it last. I will start by highly recommending it.

It has an unlikely subject for “comic book” format - trench warfare in World War I. There have been many comix that have shown combat, but they usually glorify it. Charley’s War tries to present it in a style sometime called virtual realism. The stories are straight from actual events. The drawings (b&w line in my version) are often based on actual photographs. This reality is quite horrifying enough and qualifies this as an antiwar text.

Good natured, not very bright and only 16 year old Charley enlists in 1916 is is sent to the front in time for the Somme. The storyline follows him, his mates and sergeant as they attack, defend, endure poison gas and lose friends and comrades. Originally publishes as comic books, they have been gathered into volumes. The story arc is well maintained, despite the episodic nature of the text.

Are the Germans brutal? Yes. So are many of the British officers. Heroes, bravery beyond the call of duty, cowardice, stupidity - everything one expects of a war. Can it make you cry? Without a doubt. ( )
  neotradlibrarian | Nov 25, 2007 |
Until now about the only graphic novels I've owned have been Tintin and Asterix books. I remember when I was a teenager occasionally looking at my brothers' war comics but they never particularly appealed – too short, too obvious. Even more clichéd than the silly romance novels my sister read. This is different. An absolute classic of its time, and totally unique: an anti-war strip that appeared in a war comic, with superb artwork. It's now being reissued in hardback. I came across a discussion about it and had to have a look at it, and it's wonderful. Mills borrows heavily from some of the early memoir and fiction writers, so these aren't tales of derring do, but story arcs of people coping under impossible conditions. ( )
  Only2rs | Jul 23, 2006 |
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Colquhoun, JoeIlustradorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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"The Ritz," France. June 2nd 1916. Dear Dad, I have finally arrived at the Western Front and its not nearly as bad as they make out so tell Ma to STOP WORRYING!
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From UK comics writer Pat Mills (Marshal Law, Slaine) and artist Joe Colquhoun (Johnny Red) comes piece of British comics history. In 1916, Charley Bourne lies about his age to enlist and fight on the battlefields of France. But thoughts of glory and patriotism are swept aside by the bloody artillery barrage of horror.

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