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Last Day in Vietnam

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A memoir of stories about soldiers who are engaged not only in the daily hostilities of war but also in larger, more personal combat. It features stories that are comical, heart-rending, frightening, and yet display the incredible insight into humanity characteristic of the author's entire oeuvre.
Paperback, 117 pages
Published July 25th 2000 by Dark Horse Comics (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Sam Quixote
World War 2 was Will Eisner’s war though his association with the military would last for decades. He turned instructional manuals into comics to make them easier to read for army personnel, and his work took him to new theatres of war like Korea and Vietnam in the 1950s and 60s. In one of his last books, Last Day in Vietnam, he revisited these warzones to tell some brilliant short stories of the people he met.

The title story is the longest, a point of view tale where the reader is escorted by
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Carly
October, 2006

This small series of war-memory vignettes displays much of what Eisner has to offer, just to a lesser extent than in his larger books. His flair for realistic human drama, distinctive dialogue, and honestly balanced characters shines brighter in his major behemoths, like A Contract with God, or The Heart of the Storm, probably because those books have more time to develop them. But each of Last Day in Vietnam’s short war stories is satisfying, and gently touching in that distinctive
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Emelie
I'm not usually a graphic novel reader but this caught my interest. I'm well, fascinated by the Vietnam war and the military life in general and the blurb tolled of emotional tales. And I like emotional tales as well.

I wasn't disappointed. I like the short glimpses into the military life and the various emotional states and happenings. I liked how most of the tales were directed as I was present in the scene. The languages the characters used felt realistic, as well did their behaviour and emot
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Gayle Francis Moffet
A set of short stories about war from Eisner, showing us--as he routinely did in his work--the future of comics through true, honest stories about real people. In the intro, Eisner writes about his military experience, both as a soldier in WWII and during his many years as a journalist creating a magazine to teach soldiers good maintenance habits for their gear. All the stories he tells are true, delivered in mostly loose panel layouts that bring a sort of dreamlike quality to the stories that l ...more
Karyl
I picked this up randomly off the graphic novels shelf in the library (which, shamefully, is located in the children's area) because I was drawn to the title. I knew absolutely nothing about it before I checked it out.

This is a wonderfully drawn set of stories from both the Vietnam and the Korean wars. It shows the inconsistencies and the contradictions of war, and the absolute heartbreak. It also shows a bit of humor and levity that keeps the narrative from being too disheartening.

The art is ab
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Richard Barnes
It's by Will Eisner, so of course the art is superb and the storytelling sublime. What exactly makes Last Day in Vietnam's art and stories so good?

Art - Eisner's cartoony style in no way detracts from the realities of war. The character expressions and movements may be exaggerated but the attention to detail in the backgrounds and costumes etc ground the stories in gritty realism. If anything, it's the cartoon-like style that brings the real humanity of the characters out.

These are a series of v
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Jim
Basically a group of short stories in graphic novel form, each touching primarily on rear echelon support personnel, fobbits, as he delves into the personalities of several military "types," through an unusual first person delivery (you see the individual through the narrator's eyes) as he goes out to see the war or as he encounters different soldiers. His style is recognizable, spare, but expressive. I liked best the soldier who pays a high price for taking up with a local woman, but who cannot ...more
Patrick
Hey, it is Will Eisner book, how could one go wrong?!?!
Kevin
Will Eisner's Last Day in Vietnam is a graphic novel capturing individual events from the author's tours as a war journalist through several war zones across a couple decades. All are first-person accounts with artwork being drawn from the author's point of view and characters in the panels addressing the author as though it were you.

I'm going to admit off the bat that I wasn't expecting much of this graphic novel. But I picked it up at the library solely because I know of Eisner and his reputat
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Emilia P
Will Eisner is Will Eisner. He find Eisnerian characters and situations in Korea and Vietnam, quite easily. Perhaps they are pastiches or fabrications? Perhaps. I liked this for what it was, which was a reporter's notebook sort of thing, but I would have loved a bigger over-arching story with a big morally ambivalent punch to the gut a lot more. Grouch grouch. :)

Aaj
Feb 17, 2014 Aaj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: War story lovers
A simple book!

The backdrop is, as you might have already guessed, the Vietnam war..

This is a collection of few 2-3 page wartime memories. Each story tries to explore a new human emotion and adds a different flavour to the book. If you like simple carricature (Is the speiilng correct?) kind of art... you'll like this book.

Will Eisner makes you think, introspect and smile at the same time; a writer can do that rarely!!
Glenn
This was the first Eisner I've read, which is surprising, given his universal recognition and my love of the medium. It's good, but I though it would be better. Most of the stories were not long enough to become completely immersed. There is, to be sure, something masterful about how much the drawings convey without words, especially the characters.
Greg
I've still only really read late-career reflective Eisner but I definitely like it. This one was not as powerful for me but I still think the drawings were fantastic and I appreciate just being inside his head for a few moments while I am reading.
Jay
Last Day in Vietnam is unfortunately just too short. Will Eisner was writing for a more limited space, but if you are going to put them into a graphic novel, I think it should be a bit more substantial, with more stories and photos. The AP photos were a great addition to the collection. A Purple Heart for George was the best story in the collection. But overall, just too slim of a collection to really even be called that.
Edward Cheer
A very fast read, but nonetheless a decent one. Eisner excels at his gripping short stories that still shine in the war zone of Vietnam.
Annamarie
Honestly I was disappointed while reading this book. Most of the time I found myself not even reading the text and just moving my eyes around the page. The drawings were very well done, great detail, and actually reminded me of a sketchbook diary. What I really liked most about the book were the photographs that were in-between each story. I feel like I should have something profound to say, but I don't.
My review should be viewed as my own experience, and you as a reader should pick it up and f
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Andy Shuping
This book is composed of six short entries that capture stories of soldiers in Vietnam. Eisner, in his typical realistic style, easily captures the movements, life, chaos, and death of this war.
Manish
Eisner employs a wholly different approach to narrate some of his encounters with memorable characters during his visit to the front lines of America's engagement in Vietnam and Korea. Though these are simple tales, by using large panels and giant sized images, Eisner manages to make the experience wholly unique.

I now feel bad for not having the skills to draw anything that even remotely resembles a recognizable object.
Mike Jensen
I am becoming convinced that graphic novels by nature can not have the impact of a book or film. I'm waiting for an exception. This is not it. It is a wonderful and moving account of people about to be shipped out of Viet Nam. As fine at it is as a graphic novel, it simply lacks the emotional depth of gravity of other stories on similar themes. It is teriffic, but maybe it can not be a great book.
David Schaafsma
6 Very short stories out of one of the godfathers of comics, Will Eisner's, personal experiences with war--Vietnam, Korea… and evocative, and personal, and you become a character in the stories… so it's a sketchbook account, very spare, I wish it were more, but it's good; a good storyteller tells it. Human interest experiences. But not much here.
Mike Jensen
A very good graphic novel, marred by a predictable ending.
David
Will Eisner. Legend.

This short collection involves some memories from the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

He was a great artist. And his use of the medium is demonstrated here to great effect.

But this is a short collection of short memories. I wish he shared more of them in this collection.
Deborah
I was lucky enough to be able to listen to stories about this book by its editor Diana Schutz and marketing rep (at the time) Shawna Gore at my graphic novel reading club. Only 6 stories, but each said so much with so little. Fantastic storytelling! A quick and well-worth read.
Charlotte
Project notes: better matierals on vietnam out there, but could be useful, especially the last story- purple heart.

black and white- some cussing, but it would be easy to white out during duplication for classroom use if needed.
HeavyReader
Dec 25, 2008 HeavyReader rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of war stories
This short collection of war stories is a quick but sobering read.

I was obsessed with the Vietnam War when I was in middle school. I'm glad that has passed, but sometimes I do still read books about the war, including this one.
Ashley
I literally read this in 20 minutes. For me, if there were MORE stories, I would have given it a higher rating... I enjoyed the stories and drawings that were there, but there just weren't enough!
Armando
it is a memoir of war in Vietnam, it tells different stories about the soldiers, and it also includes some pictures. Each individual story has its own drama from funny to frightening.
Davey
He's a crafty dude. His layouts and graphic/metaphorical devices are clever, but his characters felt too much like caricatures for me to really dig into them. Maybe that's my fault?
Nancy
Obvious why Eisner is considered a master of this medium. You barely realize you're reading -- it feels like a movie. These are short -- like flash fiction. Left me wishing for the novel.
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WILL EISNER was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'O
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