Wednesday, July 22, 2015

War Is Hell (But Necessary) 4

Chapter 4

When in 1950 America started helping the South Koreans in their war agains the communists, the first war comics were introduced and Hank Chapman had found his genre. Between 1951 and 1953, he wrote over sixty of the most bleak and desperate war stories of the whole decade. In Hank Chapman's stories, there are no heroes, only soldiers who get killed. He is no liberal, feels the war is necessary but struggles with the fact that it is also a dirty business which always costs lives.And it just so happens that the story I was using to illustrate this point is the one that's up next in my daily presentation. If you find it depressing, I have to warn you it will only get worse.

It's drawn by Paul Reinman, who did some of his best work with Chapman. I always see Reinman as an early forerunner of Bernie Krigstein. His work is just as inventive and gripping, he only peaked just a couple of years earlier. When Krigstein was doing his most fanous work, Reinman was already on his way down and sadly had a long way to go. But in 1951-52 he was still at his best.

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