Friday, October 24, 2008

I Loves Me Some Weird War Tales

I'm not talking about those early 52-pagers that now seems to cost an arm and a leg in high grade, I'm talking about the latter part of the title's run. I'm a bit of a later comer to this crazy titles, but for the past several years, I've been picking this up whenever I see issues for a buck or less (and that's fairly often). You never know what you'll find inside - here a random sampling.

My most recent purchase was Weird War Tales #76, which earned my dollar based on the Kubert cover alone. I'm certain that I've seen this pose elsewhere - it reminds me of the cover to Where Monsters Dwell #36, but that's not quite it. There's a bit of a mind-bending tale about a devious Nazi (some are worse than others, I guess) drawn by Howard Chaykin is his more abstract style - quite effective. The real highlight for me, though, was 'The Wreck of the Ophelie' in which a French soldier wishes he'd been a bit nicer to a lycanthropic Huguenot. Wonderful Gerry Talaoc art on this one - I may be in the minority, but I just love his 'look'.

If you see a copy of Weird War Tales #108 for sale, do not pass it up. First, it's got a crazy Joe Staton 'Creature Commandos vs. Hitler' cover. If you have to ask who are the Creature Commandos, I'm sorry but I don't have the adequate words to describe them. It's such nutty concept, that you must simply experience it for yourself. Secondly, this ish is a treat because you get both a Creature Commandos story as well as GI Robot story. Not every issue features both of this fun strips. GI Robot is exactly what it sounds like - a robot soldier dealing with so many of the same 'I wish I were human' issues that have plague robots through the ages. Very nice Pat Broderick art on that one. There also a really trippy sci-fi story that Mike Barr salvage from the cancelled Mystery in Space with lovely JL Garcia-Lopez artwork.

My final selection is perhaps the craziest and yet most eloquent. It's the final issue of the series and may be a bit tougher to find if print runs were low. Weird War Tales #124 comes across as Robert Kanigher's swan song to war comics. The narrative is very unique as it is more of an epic poem about the role of war in human history. Numerous battles through the ages are visited and it feels like a skipping record as the combat never ends - just goes on and on and on. A fairly contemplative work, decently executed. It also takes up the vast majority of the issue - which was rare for this title. All in all - an appropriately 'weird' send off.

1 comment:

jim kosmicki said...

this was one of my go-to titles in my youth - I bought just about every title that I saw on the stands, even though I really didn't buy that many war or mystery books. It was also where my one and only LOC was published, late in the run. this book needs a Showcase, pronto.