Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Civil War Adventure by Chuck Dixon, Gary Kwapisz


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
"There's plenty of battlefield chaos, to be sure, but the tales are clearly a product of meticulous research and loaded with insights into the monotony and terror of fighting in a war." ― Booklist
Take aim alongside a thin line of Union sharpshooters at Gettysburg. Ride with John Mosby, the South's greatest raider, on a daring foray inside Union lines. Dodge grapeshot and cannonballs on a journey down the Mississippi aboard the Union Ram Fleet. These ten gripping tales from both sides of the conflict recapture the excitement, history, and tragedy of the American Civil War. In addition to fictional stories set within historical events, this illustrated anthology includes excerpts from biographies and eyewitness accounts, a timeline, and several maps. Fact pages following each story provide fascinating details.
Formerly available only in an extremely limited edition, Civil War Adventure combines the talents of Eisner-nominated author Chuck Dixon, the writer of such popular series as Batman and Green Arrow, and artist Gary Kwapisz, best known for his illustrations for Marvel Comics' The Savage Sword of Conan.

MY TAKE:
I only know the very basics about the Civil War so I thought this would be a great way for me to better understand the conflict.

In Civil War Adventure, readers are transported to the middle of several important skirmishes and battles that occurred during the Civil War via comic strips, maps, letters, etc.

The first thing that I noticed when I started reading was that the book was in black and white. I assumed that it would be in full color, so that came as a surprise. Anyway, I guess in the end it was a better match for the illustration style, which is a little grittier than I like. The first comic strip that popped into my head when I tried to come up with a comparison was The Phantom by Lee Falk.

As for the stories, while the events are real, not all of the stories shown here are true. Some are merely representative of events (for example, a character's father being punished for desertion) that actually happened to many people during the Civil War. Most of the stories are sad, as what you would expect from a book about war, but there are also some funny bits here and there.

The timeline at the start of the book was a big help to me since it helped me how the war unfolded. I noticed that most of the story seemed to be set in the South or appear to be pro-Confederates. It's only the later comics that showed the Union soldiers as heroes, of sorts. I'm guessing this is because the book focuses on the first 2/3rds or so of the Civil War.

Thanks to NetGalley and Dover Publications for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's a good book for people who would like to learn more about the Civil War but don't want to read history textbooks.
  2. It shows the harshness of war for the soldiers.
  3. It doesn't sugarcoat the costs of war. 

THE BAD:

  1. I would have preferred it if the illustrations had been in color. 

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is learning about the Civil War but he/she doesn't like reading school textbooks.
  2. You like war movies.
  3. You want to learn more about the Civil War. 

RATING:
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