World War One: 1914-1918 by Alan Cowsill and Lalit Kumar Sharma

World War One: 1915-1918 is a well researched historical graphic novel recounting the War To End All Wars from the perspective of two British soldiers. Their stories are chronologically interspersed with major events/battles as well as tales from other soldiers.  The book is well done and gives a very manageable view of its subject.
The ratio between historical event to personal story is 50-50. We’ll follow George and Joe, foot soldiers, but also learn about naval battles, airmen, even the animals involved in the war. Interesting anecdotes, including the white feathers of cowardice given out by women at home, gassing of troops, introduction of tanks, even Lawrence of Arabia are interspersed throughout the storytelling.

The author does a great job of giving a face to the war.  As well, the pulp-style illustrations suit the subject matter well.  That the guys are a bit too ‘super her buff’ would probably be my only complaint.  I’d not expect a common soldier farmer to have ripped pecs and tight shirt when he pulls out a knife. The size of the book is very manageable – not too much but also the right size to be satisfying.

In all, this is a great resource to both learn more about Great War and enjoy personal stories from the soldiers who fought. Note that this is heavily focused on Britain’s involvement so you won’t find much about Australians, Americans, Germans, Russians, or French here.

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