Marc Weidenbaum's Reviews > Two Generals

Two Generals by Scott Chantler
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
889316
's review
Mar 05, 11

bookshelves: comic
Read in March, 2011

The men are sharply tailored and serious, with a dry sense of humor. The same can be said of the graphic novel that tells their story. The is this tale of Canadians on the European front fighting during World War II. It's a memoir, in effect, albeit told largely in the third person: two friends who head from Canada to Normandy to help save the world. As with most war stories, it's divided in half: prep, then battle. Prep is boredom and bicycles, love letters and training. Battle is violence and tension -- and it's also boring, in its own way, when stalemates raise the specter of WWI-style trench warfare. There are occasional fast-forwards, when we see one of the two main characters nearing death as an old man in a hospital, haunted by memories.

The whole thing is told in carefully laid out grids, each page three panels by three panels, some of those occasionally combined into wide panels, full pages, even a dramatic two-page spread. As a comic, those pages are its greatest asset: carefully designed, well-balanced. At a panel-by-panel level, though, there's a substantial amount of redundancy here. We're continually being told and shown what's happened: someone is given a candy bar, and we're told they're given a candy bar; someone is found dead, and we see them dead; someone misses his love one, and we see a picture of that loved on and are told of the sense of loneliness.

Computer-generated faux-hand lettering is often a distraction, but here it's a solid match to the firmly rendered drawings. There's also a cartoon-like quality to the faces, which at first seems at odds with the subject matter, but it slowly fades over the course of the book, as matters of mortality becomes more and more real.
likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Two Generals.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.