Lest We Forget

Today is Remembrance Day and we honor our fallen. Nov.11 marks the signing of an Armistice at the end of World War I, and I wanted to post some WWI comic book content, but what exactly? Most war comics take place in WW2, after all. So Enemy Ace? Balloon Buster? The Phantom Eagle? Snoopy?! I haven't actually read Jacques Tardi's great "It Was the War of the Trenches", Joe Sacco's "The Great War", or Pat Mills' "Charlie's War".

My choice is a sequence from Longshot Comics (which I once discussed HERE), which sets WW1 in the context of the British Empire's decay, a minimalist black comedy that may well sum up the Great War and our feelings about it (and all war) today:
(click to enlarge)
It seems relevant for the characters of the story to be little dots, people seen from across a century, tiny and indistinct. The phrase "Lest we forget" is very appropriate. Not only are those soldiers - a historian friend told me no veterans from that war are still alive today - in danger of being forgotten, just as those of 19th century wars surely have been, and on and on, but the details of that war themselves too. Why did we have to fight and die? What was it all worth? The sequence speaks to the futility of it. Wars are fought because leaders say they must be, and all victories are in a sense Pyrrhic.

Remembrance Day acts a reminder, but how much will we actually remember as new wars, new veterans and the newly dead come to replace those of that long-ago "Great" war?



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