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Charley's War, Volume 1: 2 June – 1 August 1916 (Charley's War #1)

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4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  219 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
From renowned UK comics writer Pat Mills (Marshal Law, Slaine) and legendary artist Joe Colquhoun (Johnny Red) comes a truly classic piece of graphic storytelling, by turns thrilling, horrifying and deeply moving. In 1916, Charley Bourne lies about his age to enlist and fight on the battlefields of France. But thoughts of glory and patriotism are swept aside by the bloody ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Titan Books (first published 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 476)
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David Schaafsma
Jul 01, 2016 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
July 1 addition: It's the 100 year anniversary of one of the most horrific military disasters of WWI, The Battle of the Somme, so I re-post my reviews of 2-3 of the best:

I’ve now read at least three comics greats in the last year on the Battle of Somme, in WWI, 1916, the greatest disaster in British military history, where the real villains depicted are less the Germans than the British military aristocracy, the generals, the commanders on the field that insisted on going ahead with a misguided
...more
Soobie's heartbroken
It took forever to read this!!

Back to WW1 in the form of fumetti (which is a term I adore because it included strips, graphic novels, US comics, manga and everything else with balloons in it). After Paolo Cossi, Jacques Tardi it's time for Pat Mills.

This is not a graphic novel but a comic strip that ran from January 1979 to October 1985. This book is the first of ten anthologies collecting all the strips by Pat Mills and Pat Colquhoun.

I don't usually read strips. I know that they appear on Ameri
...more
Ian
Jun 17, 2015 Ian rated it really liked it
This is the first volume of the classic British comic by Pat Mills (writing) and Joe Colquohon (pictures) about the experiences of a young Londoner in the First World War, impeccably researched and presented with great attention to detail. For people of my generation this comic played a big part in shaping their view of the First World War and it is fascinating to revisit.
Johnny
Feb 17, 2014 Johnny rated it it was amazing
For those of a certain generation, who grew up with (and still read), comics such as the Haunted Tank, Sgt Rock, and Enemy Ace, Charley's War can come as a bit of a shock. In some ways, Charley's War makes the others seem like a Disney version of war comics, which is pretty surprising given some of the story lines especially in Sgt Rock and Enemy Ace.
Charley's War was a comics in the late 1970s which told the story of a young man that joins the British Army in the spring of 1916. While the vi
...more
Melissa Mcavoy
This is the first in a multi-volume compilation of a long running British cartoon strip. The illustration is heavily inked and dense and the subject matter: WW1, heavy and poignant and darkly witty. Charlie is none to bright, but a very decent kid, and his experiences in the trenches of WW1 are appropriately grim and moving. It is a great series to open older kids eyes to the horrors of war and give them some sense of what a pivotal event the Great War was and how different the world was before ...more
Jessi
Aug 28, 2012 Jessi rated it really liked it
I had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the style of this graphic novel. It has an excess of exclamation points, and because it was published in short bits as a serial, each issue has a brief synopsis at the beginning as well as footnotes about important events in previous issues. All that was a bit distracting, but once I adapted to it was a very moving read. It is set during World War I and is a true anti-war chronicle that delves into class issues, the disconnect between superior officers and ...more
Ryan
Nov 09, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it
This comic book story of a naive, patriotic young British soldier in World War One captures the imagery of life and death in the trenches in gritty, brutal detail, probably better than any other illustrated work out there. As comics go, this is a sternly polemic one, the authors making no secret of their outrage at the politicians who sat safely at home, demanding victory at all costs from the young men doing the fighting, or at the ruthless inhumanity of some of the soldiers' own officers. Howe ...more
Tarn Richardson
Jan 22, 2016 Tarn Richardson rated it it was amazing
Without question the most affecting and moving telling of the horror and slaughter of the Somme trenches I've read in graphic novel format. It might have been written for children, but the visuals and the messages are unflinching, as is Mills' stern estimation of the officers responsible for the brutality and murder in those fields. A must read.
Cocaine
Jan 27, 2016 Cocaine rated it it was amazing
Aimed at a juvenile audience this hardback collection of comic strips packs an adult punch. The first world war written and drawn in a graphic, honest and sometimes brutal way. Must read.
Jo Bennie
Nov 30, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m
Charley's War is always brilliant, the collection of Battle comic strips of young Private Charley Bourne, fighting in the worst hells of the Western Front. In this collection we at the Front in August - October 1916, as the first 'landships', better known to us as tanks, are unleashed on the Germans. If the powers that be had used the full capacity of these new weapons the war would have been over, but as ever Mills and Colquhoun express the incompetence of the generals with brilliant black and ...more
Robert
Apr 02, 2014 Robert rated it did not like it
Subversive drivel. Only to be viewed in order to know the twisted mindset of the enemy.
John Goodrich
Jan 10, 2014 John Goodrich rated it really liked it
Brilliant beginning to one of the most horrific and beautful comic series ever. Meticulosuly researched, brilliantly human, this is an excellent story, based on the British experience of World War One.
Damon
Jan 31, 2015 Damon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favourites
I liked this story. Smith 70 definitely has aspergur's syndrome.
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Jan 21, 2011 Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk rated it really liked it
The whole "Charley's War" series is a superb read and isn't just for school-children who want to know a bit about the First World War, or an excellent way for teachers to teach the topic - it's just as interesting for all us amateur historians out there. Everything is meticulously researched and notes to each "chapter" expand on details.
Eric Freh
May 11, 2015 Eric Freh rated it really liked it
Brilliant
Holly
Mar 12, 2015 Holly rated it liked it
This was an interesting look at WWI through the eyes of a British soldier. I don't know a whole lot about the individual battles of WWI, so it's educational to get some more details about a war that's been largely forgotten in the U.S.
Tammy
Sep 11, 2009 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Amazing graphic novel of World War I. Started as weekly comic in Britian. Charley starts at the first British battle of the Somme. Black and White drawings bring the horror of war to life without being too gruesome.
Aujul Majdi
Feb 08, 2013 Aujul Majdi marked it as to-read
Very good depiction of atrocities in World War I. One of anti-war stories recommended for all anti-war activists to read
Peacegal
Mar 05, 2012 Peacegal rated it liked it
3.5 stars-- It's rather slow to start, but by the end its a gripping, heartbreaking, and darkly funny anti-war story.
Sancaka
May 29, 2012 Sancaka rated it it was amazing
blimey! beyond me expectation. am already saving to buy the bloody second volume :D
Emma Richler
Aug 05, 2013 Emma Richler rated it it was amazing
Classic. And look for possible 'War Horse' inspiration here . .
Dan
Sep 05, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it
Strong, compelling and brutal.
Ted
Feb 15, 2013 Ted rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comix
This is great
Khaled Husni
Khaled Husni marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
the gift
the gift marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
Clara Chifana
Clara Chifana marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Cameron Stapleton
Cameron Stapleton marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2016
Cyndi
Cyndi rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2016
Darren Benson
Darren Benson rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2016
Morgan Gardner
Morgan Gardner marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
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Pat Mills, born in 1949 and nicknamed 'the godfather of British comics', is a comics writer and editor who, along with John Wagner, revitalised British boys comics in the 1970s, and has remained a leading light in British comics ever since.

His comics are notable for their violence and anti-authoritarianism. He is best known for creating 2000 AD and playing a major part in the development of Judge
...more
More about Pat Mills...

Other Books in the Series

Charley's War (10 books)
  • Charley's War, Volume 2: 1 August - 17 October 1916
  • Charley's War, Volume 3: 17 October 1916 - 21 February 1917
  • Charley's War, Volume 4: Blue's Story
  • Charley's War, Volume 5: Return to the Front
  • Charley's War, Volume 6: Underground and Over the Top
  • Charley's War, Volume 7: The Great Mutiny
  • Charley's War, Volume 8: Hitler's Youth
  • Charley's War, Volume 9: Death from Above
  • Charley's War, Volume 10: The End

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