Monday, April 6, 2015

A Sailor's Story

   Everyone needs a hero, and for me, it was my Dad.

   For a lot of my life, I wasn't really aware of his military experiences. He was in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving on a Minesweeper based in the Philippines. 

   Like most men of that era, he never talked about it much - but toward the end of his life, he finally started sharing some of his experiences. One thing was clear: he was proud of his service to the country.

    In the late ‘80s I bought the original graphic novel version of A Sailor’s Story and gave it to Dad to read. He enjoyed it, and said, “That’s pretty much the way it was.”

   That graphic novel and its sequel, A Sailor's Story, Book Two: Winds, Dreams, and Dragons, are the true-life stories of the men who served on the U.S.S. Stevens, a Fletcher-class destroyer. 

   Those books have now been repackaged into a terrific new edition that includes an additional 10-page Stevens vignette, tributes and assorted art honoring the writer and artist who created this masterwork - Sam Glanzman.

   That artist cut his teeth on war stories for comics companies like DC, but of course, most of those comics stories had little to do with the real world. But that's not the cast with Glanzman's stories of his experiences on the U.S.S. Stevens.

   They tell the real story of the men who put their lives on the line, and it's loaded with drama, humor, the grit and gruesome side of combat - and the men who rose above it to do an (almost) impossible job.

   The art is terrific, and the stories are important. These are events and incidents - and lives - that should be remembered and honored for their sacrifices. 

    It's a truly important graphic novel and it deserves the widest possible audience.

   I admit a sentimental attachment - it makes me feel closer to my Dad, who passed more than a decade ago. But if you have any interest in history - or the real story of World War II - you owe it to yourself to pick up this book.

Grade: A+


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sam Glanzman has done many great comic book stories in a career that starts near the beginning of the Golden Age of Comics. His autobiographical A Sailor's Story is easily his best, as he puts his heart and soul into every page. I have all the originals, but I'll be picking this new collection up...hey, it's got NEW Glanzman work inside!

Sam Kujava