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Blazing Combatby Archie Goodwin
Synopses & Reviews
Blazing Combatwas 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.
Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: (Best Archival Collection/Project: Comic Books).
The legendary anti-war comic, now in paperback.
Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: the legendary anti-war comic.
Written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by such luminaries as Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan, was originally published by independent comics publisher James Warren in 1965 and '66. Following in the tradition of Harvey Kurtzman's and , Goodwin's stories reflected the human realities and personal costs of war rather than exploiting the cliche´s of the traditional men's adventure genre. They were among the best comics stories about war ever published. ended after its fourth issue when military post exchanges refused to sell the title due to their perception that it was an anti-war comic. Their hostility was fueled by the depiction of the then-current Vietnam War, especially a story entitled "Landscape," which follows the thoughts of a simple Vietnamese peasant rice-farmer who pays the ultimate price simply for living where he does--and which was considered anti-war agit-prop by the more hawkish members of the business community. Writer Archie Goodwin and the original publisher James Warren discuss the death of and market censorship as well as the creative gestation of the series in exclusive interviews. Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: (Best Archival Collection/Project: Comic Books).
About the Author
Archie Goodwin was an important comic book writer and editor for Warren, DC, and Marvel. He was born in 1937 and died in 1998.
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