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Book Title: It Was the War of the Trenches|
The author of the book: Jacques Tardi
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Reader ratings: 4.1
Date of issue: April 20th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781606993538
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.25 MB
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World War I, that awful, gaping wound in the history of Europe, has long been an obsession of Jacques Tardi’s. (His very first—rejected—comics story dealt with the subject, as does his most recent work, the two-volume Putain de Guerre.) But It Was the War of the Trenches is Tardi’s defining, masterful statement on the subject, a graphic novel that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.
Tardi is not interested in the national politics, the strategies, or the battles. Like Remarque, he focuses on the day to day of the grunts in the trenches, and, with icy, controlled fury and disgust, with sardonic yet deeply sympathetic narration, he brings that existence alive as no one has before or since. Yet he also delves deeply into the underlying causes of the war, the madness, the cynical political exploitation of patriotism. And in a final, heartbreaking coda, Tardi grimly itemizes the ghastly human cost of the war, and lays out the future 20th century conflicts, all of which seem to spring from this global burst of insanity.
Trenches features some of Tardi’s most stunning artwork. Rendered in an inhabitually lush illustrative style, inspired both by abundant photographic documentation and classic American war comics, augmented by a sophisticated, gorgeous use of Craftint tones, trenches is somehow simultaneously atypical and a perfect encapsulation of Tardi’s mature style. It is the indisputable centerpiece of Tardi’s oeuvre.
It Was the War of the Trenches has been an object of fascination for North American publishers: RAW published a chapter in the early 1980s, and Drawn and Quarterly magazine serialized a few more in the 1990s. But only a small fraction of Trenches has ever been made available to the English speaking public (in now out of print publications); the Fantagraphics edition, the third in an ongoing collection of the works of this great master, finally remedies this situation.
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Read information about the authorJacques Tardi is a French comics artist, born 30 August 1946 in Valence, Drôme. He is often credited solely as Tardi.
After graduating from the École nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, he started writing comics in 1969, at the age of 23, in the comics magazine Pilote, initially illustrating short stories written by Jean Giraud and Serge de Beketch, before creating the political fiction story Rumeur sur le Rouergue from a scenario by Pierre Christin in 1972.
A highly versatile artist, Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline or crime novelist Léo Malet. In Malet's case, Tardi adapted his detective hero Nestor Burma into a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels, though he also wrote and drew original stories of his own.
Tardi also created one of French comics' most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. This series recreates the Paris of early 20th century where the moody heroine encounters supernatural events, state plots, occult societies and experiments in cryogenics.
Another graphic novel was Ici Même which was written by Jean-Claude Forest, best known as the creator of Barbarella. A satire, it describes the adventures of Arthur Même who lives on the walls of his family's former property.
Tardi has produced many antiwar graphic novels and comics, mainly focusing on the collective European trauma of the First World War, and the pitfalls of patriotism spawned several albums (Adieu Brindavoine, C'était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d'obus, Putain de Guerre...). His grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare, seems to have had a deep influence to his artistic expression. He also completed a four-volume series on the Paris Commune, Le cri du peuple.
Fantagraphics Books translate and publish in English a wide range of Tardi's books, done by editor and translator Kim Thompson. The books released so far are West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest), You Are There (Ici Même), and It Was the War of the Trenches (C'était la guerre des tranchées); a single album collecting the first two Adele Blanc-Sec volumes has also been published.
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