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A comic book classic with timely resonance. Blazing Combat was an American war-comics magazine published by Warren Publishing from 1965 to 1966. Written and edited by Archie Goodwin, with artwork by such industry notables as Gene Colan, Frank Frazetta, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Wally Wood, it featured war stories in both contemporary and period settings, unified by a humanistic theme of the personal costs of war, rather than by traditional men's adventure motifs. As one letter-writer in the third issue put it, “Do you seriously expect to make money with a war magazine that publishes nothing but anti-war stories?”
While most stories took place during World War II, they ranged in settings from the 18th century to the present-day. Some dealt with historical figures, such as Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold and his pre-traitorous victory at the battle of Saratoga, while “Foragers” focused on a fictional soldier in General William T. Sherman’s devastating March to the Sea during the American Civil War. “Holding Action,” set on the last day of the Korean War, ended with a gung-ho young soldier, unwilling to quit, being escorted over his protests into a medical vehicle.
What proved to be the most controversial were stories set during the then-contemporary Vietnam War, particularly the classic short “Landscape,” which follows the thoughts of a Vietnamese peasant rice-farmer devoid of ideology, who nonetheless pays the ultimate price simply for living where he does. While writer Goodwin evenhandedly portrays the North Vietnamese Army’s brutal summary executions of village officials, and a well-meaning U.S. Army fatally bludgeoning its way through the village in a counterattack, the story caused key distributors to stop selling the title.
Fantagraphics is proud to present a deluxe, hardcover edition, magnificently printed and bound, of these stories, superbly reproduced from the original printer's film negatives.
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Archie Goodwin(1937–1998, b. Kansas City, Missouri) is best known as an editor and writer for Warren, DC, and Marvel Comics. He co-created, with Walter Simonson, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman, and rebooted the Vampirella character. He also wrote newspaper comic strips, notably Star Wars, drawn by Al Williamson. He won multiple awards and authored the first graphic novel on the NYT Best-Seller list.Review:
“Adam Grano’s bold design cover design is the perfect complement to Fantagraphics’ comprehensive collection... with a stellar team of artists that included Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan. It’s remarkable how little these stories have aged, as many cover thematic ground that resonates to this day.... Even the more straightforward “war comics” that are presented in this volume have an unusual gravitas that fits naturally over the proceedings, making the stories collected stand out, and the interviews with Archie Goodwin and Jim Warren provide an in-depth and fascinating look at the pressures that the controversial comic magazine faced.”
- Kevin Church, BeaucoupKevin.com
“Although the subject matter is bleak, the presentation it’s been given is beautiful. This is as good as war comics get.”
- Rob Lott, Bookgasm
“Blazing Combat’s...issues constitute a high-water mark of the war-comics genre.”
- Gordon Flagg, Booklist
“Poignant and tragic, inspiring and depressing, Blazing Combat give an insightful glimpse into the bloody battles that have plagued this world.”
- Marc Mason, Comics Waiting Room
“Astounding...The art is reproduced from 'the original printer’s films,' so the work is clear and detailed, with the washes and shading providing depth and a feeling of realism...The stories are still timely.”
- Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
“This collection of the 1965-66 Blazing Combat war comic magazine is a stellar publication... It's a master class on how to tell a short story, and I highly recommend checking it out.”
- Sandy Bilus, I Love Rob Liefeld
“Blazing Combat reprints all 4 issues of the ground-breaking war series... These are fascinating stories... drawn by some of the top talent in comics... [who] did some of their finest works for this short-lived publication. This new package from Fantagraphics Books is a handsome hardcover... the design work is A+, this time by Adam Grano.”
- Gary Sassaman, Innocent Bystander
“Blazing Combat, a new hardcover collection from Fantagraphics, showcases some truly fantastic work from a multitude of comics greats... The collection itself is sharp as a tack... Fantagraphics really packages it nicely.”
- Litany of Schist
“[F]eatures a collection of some of the most beautiful black and white comic art you have ever seen... It also features interviews and some of the most beautiful printing I have seen. Honestly, put down those monthly comics for a week and buy something you will enjoy a lifetime. From cover to cover, this book is what keeps me in comics.”
- Jimmy Palmiotti, Newsarama
“With people like Wood, Toth, and Heath involved, I knew the art would be fantastic in Blazing Combat, but I’ve been surprised at the quality of Archie Goodwin’s writing...it’s much more satisfying than expected.”
- Timothy Hodler, Robot 6
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Book Description Fantagraphics Books, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1560979658
Book Description Fantagraphics Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1560979658 Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Seller Inventory # XM-1560979658