Goddamn This War!

Goddamn This War!

by Jacques Tardi
     
 

Tardi’s most recent war-themed graphic novel tracks an unnamed soldier’s experiences.
Created 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi’s Goddamn This War! is no mere sequel or extension, but a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece

Overview

Tardi’s most recent war-themed graphic novel tracks an unnamed soldier’s experiences.
Created 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi’s Goddamn This War! is no mere sequel or extension, but a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece to Trenches but can be read entirely on its own. Vastly different sequentially (eschewing Trenches’ splintered narrative, Goddamn is split into six chronological chapters, one for each year of the war), graphically (Tardi deploys his more recent pen-ink-and-watercolor technique, with the bold colors of the early chapters fading into a grimy near-monochrome in the later ones as the war drags on), and narratively (all of Goddamn is told, with insight, dark wit and despair, as a first-person reminiscence/narration by an unnamed soldier), Goddamn This War! shares with Trenches its sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude. In fact, Goddamn This War! includes an extensive year-by-year historical text section written by Tardi’s frequent World War I research helpmate, the historian and collector Jean-Pierre Verney, including dozens of stunning rare photographs and visual documents from his personal collection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
French artist Tardi revisits World War I, the subject matter of his phenomenal It Was the War of the Trenches. He takes a new approach to his subject matter, and his art has evolved in the 15 years since his earlier masterpiece, but the details of the conflict remain grim. Tardi proceeds chronologically, showing how Europe marched into a pointless, brutal war—a conflict in which millions died to no great purpose, leaving nothing but mud and ruins across great swaths of the continent. Tardi’s palate becomes increasingly depleted as his story develops, reflecting the dire circumstances of the hapless conscripted soldiers manning the front lines. As hope and sense drain from the world, so too does color, with the art fading to a grim monochrome. Also included is an illustrated chronology of World War I, provided by historian Verney. Tardi’s skills as an artist are rivaled only by his skill as a writer; he vividly conveys the horrors and sheer waste of the Great War. This new translation allows English-speakers to discover Tardi’s remarkable work. (Aug.)
Alex Dueben - Comic Book Resources
“I would call the book beautifully drawn, but that seems incorrect due to the subject matter... By the end of the book, when one [of the] characters sits in a cafe after the war's end, it truly feels as if he and the world itself has changed.”
Rob Clough - High-Low
“It's a virtuoso piece... Goddamn This War!… is the work of a mature cartoonist whose exasperated outrage has given way to a simmering and more nuanced cynicism.”
Library Journal
Tardi, a prolific graphic novelist and the winner of two Eisner Awards for his earlier masterpiece about World War I, It Was War in the Trenches, returns 15 years later with a new book on the same subject. A nameless, disillusioned French soldier narrates from his initial mobilization at the war’s beginning in 1914 to a year after its end in 1919. Loosely plotted, the story is mostly a collection of anecdotes strung together chronologically, with each chapter corresponding to a year of the conflict. To provide context for these anecdotes, French historian and author Jean-Pierre Verney (La Premiere Guerre Mondiale) writes a history that appears after the title’s main story. Tardi’s art is relaxed but detailed, as he skillfully uses style and color to mirror the narrator’s personal conditions.

Verdict The lack of a strong story line and any dialog conveys the soldiers’ lives—the constant boredom, mud, decay, and disease, broken up by horrifying injuries and gory deaths. The graphic monotony makes for a potentially slow read but one that is absorbing, moving, and personal. As the narrator describes the soldiers’ physical and psychological conditions, readers will wonder whether they would have been able to withstand the same experience. Recommended.—Robert Mixner, Bartholomew Cty. P.L., Columbus, IN
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606995822
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
08/03/2013
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

With over 30 graphic novels under his belt (a half-dozen of which have been translated into English), Jacques Tardi is considered the leading European cartoonist of the generation that came of age in the 1970s. His books published in America by Fantagraphics include West Coast Blues, You are There, It Was the War of the Trenches, and The Arctic Marauder. He lives in Paris with his wife, the singer Dominique Grange, and their cats.

With over 30 graphic novels under his belt (a half-dozen of which have been translated into English), Jacques Tardi is considered the leading European cartoonist of the generation that came of age in the 1970s. His books published in America by Fantagraphics include West Coast Blues, You are There, It Was the War of the Trenches, and The Arctic Marauder. He lives in Paris with his wife, the singer Dominique Grange, and their cats.

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