Tag Archives: war

Advance Review of Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash

black-dog-dave-mckean
Dave McKean

By Dave McKean

To observe that “war is hell” is so commonplace now, it has pretty much passed into the realm of tired cliché. It does not help that its sentiment is often cited equally by doves and hawks, the latter extolling the visceral virtue of combat. Violence is a difficult subject to represent, as even the most seemingly clear-cut anti-violence message can be twisted into something laudatory (as Stanley Kubrick was repulsed to discover with A Clockwork Orange). Indeed, there is a line of thought which states that all war films, regardless of intentions, are ultimately pro-war, as it is impossible to put combat on screen without glamorizing it. (This reviewer would extend such analysis to many supposedly “moralistic” gangster movies). For his new graphic novel Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, Dave McKean successfully avoids many of these pitfalls. He accomplishes this by almost entirely skipping the battlefield sequences, concentrating instead of the more intimate emotional toll of warfare for the fallen and survivor alike. The result is a moving mediation on the true cost of war.

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Review of We Stand on Guard #1

We Stand on Guard 1
Steve Skroce

By Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce

Brian K. Vaughan opens the first issue of his latest comic with a family watching the news. The year is 2112, the place Ontario. There is a developing story down south where the White House is in flames after some sort of drone attack. The family is unsettled, trying their best to grasp how this has happened. One by one they run through the usual list of suspects (Algiers, Hanguk, the Cuban/Greek alliance). Half-jokingly, the son suggests that it was their own country, incorrectly citing precedent. Vaughan lends this scene a sense of apprehension which extends beyond events happening in another country; the reader feels uneasy about this family. And for good reason. Soon missiles are raining down en masse on the city, blanketing Ontario in fiery destruction, which quickly claims the parents’ lives. Young Tommy and Amber are left to fend for themselves.
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