In what may or may not become a new feature – although with this being the second post under that tagline, it’s looking more likely that it will be – I decided to make a cup of tea (PG Tips again) and sit down and read a comic or two whilst I drank said cuppa. My intention isn’t to read review copies, or digital copies if I can help it, but either graphic novels, TPBs, or floppy comics because I much prefer to relax with a physical comic. I may have read them before, or they may have been on my To Read pile for far too long. Whether this happens monthly, weekly, daily… never again… will depend entirely on the time I have.
This week, I sat down with one of the issues of Commando I picked up in the UK.
Commando is an incredibly long running bi-weekly series that tends to feature a standalone story in each issue (though I could be wrong), with multiple issues being released each month. I actually picked up two different issues, but I only sat down and read #5017 today.
Despite having lived in England for near twenty years (at least ten to twelve of which I would have been capable of reading this series) I had never read, or really even heard of, Commando until I saw it pop up in a feature in the British magazine Comic Heroes – but I couldn’t tell you which one at this point. Needless to say when I saw the issue on the shelves of a newsagent, I grabbed it.
The comic itself was finished long before the tea, as although it had 60 plus pages of black and white artwork that has, on average, two panels a page. Because the artwork isn’t as crisp as some of the larger size comics, there was a little more narrative description than you would typically see in comics today, instead echoing back to the 60’s where comics were heavier with the narration text boxes. This issue focused on the exploits of a German tank crew during the second World War, and I’ll admit to being unsure of how I should feel reading a story that positioned the side of the conflict that has traditionally been positioned as The Enemy in almost every WWII story I have ever read, watched, or played. At the end of the day, however, not every member of the German army during that time was complicit in the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi party, and I think stories such as these will do their part in reminding us of that.
The story itself was pretty decent, nothing special, but still worth the two pounds (roughly $3.50 Canadian) I spent on it. Had I known that the story focused on the characters it did prior to purchase… I don’t know whether I’d have picked it up. It wasn’t until I got a couple pages in that I figured out where the story was going.
Overall, not a bad comic to sit for a cup of tea with, and certainly not one I would have typically picked up had I not been trying to grab some British comics on my trip over back in May.
Writer: Colin Watson Artist: Vicente Alcazar