PAT MILLS – JOE
COLQUHOUN – CHARLEY’S WAR – A BOY SOLDIER IN THE GREAT WAR
Beware, readers, this is not an
omnibus edition of the ten volumes of Charley’s
war. It is only the omnibus edition of the first three volumes plus
three chapters of the fourth volume. In a way that is good because it only
covers the Battle of the Somme, Charley’s
severe wound and his evacuation back to Great Blighty Britain for treatment and
convalescence, which means getting back on his feet to go back to the trenches.
But do not hope you will have the whole story.
In a way that’s good because it
“deprives” you of the continuation of the war through the Russian campaign, or
rather the colonial imperialistic British, American and Japanese, the French
and the Italians getting out as soon as they arrived, campaign against the
Bolsheviks in Russia.
But the main defects, shortcomings and faults of the complete series are there
for you to see and “enjoy” particularly the slicing up of the story and events
that destroy any suspense; the exclusion of any real political considerations
on the allies’ side; the allies look more like a syndicate of bad boys than
anything else; and the jingoistic British approach of events.
It goes as far as Charley
preventing his younger under age brother to enlist in the armed forces for the
war but Charley had done just the same, that is to say he had cheated a few
months on his age to go through. His brother is just trying to do the same and
Charley is just a party pooper: do what I tell you to do, not what I do.
Hypocritical hypocrisy. Redundant repetition of concepts, . . . , on purpose of
me give you the introductory summary of the sixty-five page document
general ideas of these reviews are:
This is only the
British point of view and it reaches the level of quasi jingoism at times.
The Germans – and
later the Russians, white and red alike, are depicted as pure monsters.
The author pretends
the war went on up to 1919 When British and American troops were withdrawn from
where they had been supporting the White Czarists against the Red Communists.
All British or
American politicians are exonerated as for the decision to start the war and
the way it was managed. The author pretends consistently and comprehensively
that the mess of that war was only the responsibility of generals who were too
far away from the troops, too socially vain, and highly incompetent.
The only politicians
that are slightly quoted, nearly on the sly, are the Kaiser and Lenin, though
the two white and red camps are depicted and named. But the name of Trotsky is
kept out of the campaign though he was the inventor of the Red Army.
Even the French
generals who massacred thousands of men by firing them for the example when
they became rebellious, like Pétain, are nicely kept secret.
The Peace Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk is not quoted and it becomes the German victory on the eastern
The Peace Treaty of
Versailles is not quoted though we all know today it was one of the main causes
of the rise of Nazism and Hitler.
Charley’s final silent
bubble seems to say that there never is a last war, that we have to fight in
all the wars we have to fight in, that it is a human duty to do it. And that
conclusion is political.
the reviews and read the comic books. By the way I did not take into account
the commentaries and introductions, except the very first introduction, because
the comic strip was published without any commentary or introduction in
magazines for young people. I try to analyze them the way they were first
other hand I consider that in black and white they are twenty times better than
the colors we can see on the Internet and some pages were in color originally.
I assume the contradiction because to have it colorized is nothing but a
commercial tactic to attract readers. In black and white the message comes
alone with no subliminal interference from a colorful coating.
wrapping of the sweet does not make the sweet any better than it really is:
pure sugar and a lot of artificial coloring and flavoring, in other words let’s
look at the danger of the real stuff rather than at the shiny wrapping we could
add onto the poison to make us believe it is mental vitamins or testosterone.
I am sure you will enjoy the
reviews and you will enjoy the comic strips but do not hope for any miracle. It
is frankly blighty British jingoistically minded.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU