Monday, February 2, 2015

Stalag IIB - Tardi

The full title, translated into English, would be 'I, René Tardi, Prisoner of War at the Stalag II B; My Return to France' which is actually a full disclosure of the narrative.

In the previous tome, Tardi junior (one of France's foremost creators of graphic novels) depicted his father's time as a soldier and then as a prisoner of war in the infamous above-mentioned camp. German surrender is now imminent, and the prisoners are made to leave the camp as the Russian army is drawing nearer. A toilsome travel awaits Tardi père before finally falling into his fiancé's arms again, in the final picture.

The drawings are of Tardi's usual aesthetic and the use of colour shrewd. The story is told in two voices, the distressed, cynical father's and his teenage son's; youthfully candid and detaining historical hindsight at the same time.

First-person life-stories are history of a different kind than what you normally find in history books, and much is said here about human behaviour in war, notwithstanding the nationality. 

I'm not sure why I liked this tome better than the first? Perhaps because I took longer to read it. I suspect this kind of epic needs some time to be properly digested. 
A brilliant read, if not very uplifting. 


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