Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 12

Goddamn This War!

by Tardi
Genre notes: War
152 pages
ISBN: 1606995820 (Amazon)

Goddamn This War! follows a young recruit into the French infantry at the start of the first World War. He against odds survives to the war’s conclusion—which is why he’s able to narrate the whole thing from after the fact. We see other characters as he sees them: occasionally and as fodder. The soldier-narrator is dry and cynical and wise, likely a product of having the privilege of recounting everything from well after the war’s close. And by the end we wonder, if they weren’t already steeped in savagery before the war, how the decades could unfold afterward without the human race floating belly up in a sea of barbarism.

While the title alone should probably be hint enough, let me underscore: Goddamn This War! is a cynical work, broadly condemning not just the atrocity of warfare but more the politicians and bureaucracy that spend so prodigally the blood of the young, the naive, and the idealistic. Damn this war, yes, but damn also those who would wage it, those who would put our sons and cousins and nephews and fathers in front of bullets and gas and bombs and missiles. For honour, for oil, for glory, for land, for God, and for country. Damn them and damn the reckless negligence that turns human dignity into a soup of viscera and terror. Or maybe, Tardi might argue, there was never any dignity to humanity to begin with.

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