One Mad Dog

[Asterix Omnibus Volume 2] – (Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo)
February 20, 2012, 5:57 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Albert Uderzo, Asterix, Rene Goscinny

Asterix Omnibus 2: Includes Asterix the Gladiator #4, Asterix and the Banquet #5 and  Asterix and Cleopatra #6 in one  large format glossy papered volume.  “Asterix the Gladiator” is the story of the Romans capturing Cacofonix to feed him to the lions as a special treat for Julius Caesar. Asterix and Obolix join the Roman Gladiator school to rescue him and teach the Romans a lesson. “Asterix and the Banquet” follows Asterix and Obelix’s travels round the entire country of France to gather local specialties in order to make a massive banquet and to win a bet with the Romans who are surrounding their village. “Asterix and Cleopatra”  follows Asterix and Obelix’s to Egypt where they assist one of Getafix’s old friends in building a huge palace for Cleopatra. This book also sees the introduction of another regular character in the shape of a dog called Dogamatix.

All three books are light hearted with plenty of jokes at the expense of Asterix’s enemies. Unlike the first volume where it took a while to get used to the style of writing  this volume immediately flowed nicely and the translation was seamless.  The stories were witty and perfectly paced and the jokes at the expense of the Romans are as funny as ever.  I think with these three volumes the series really found its rhythm and it would be hard to pick a favorite amongst them.

The artwork and coloring is excellent and of a consistent high standard.  There are  tons of things going on in the backgrounds of the panels and the book is a joy to look at.  The presentation is also really good in the oversized format and the colors are vibrant.

This is a another great collection that should appeal to both kids and adults alike. It certainly doesn’t feel childish in any way and the sense of humor makes it a light read.  If you enjoyed the first omnibus you should enjoy this one too. ISBN-13: 978-1444004243. 8/10

[Commando: D-Day Fight or Die! The 12 Best Commando D-Day Comic Books Ever!] – (George Low, Various)
February 5, 2012, 4:20 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Commando, Various

“D-Day Fight or Die”  is another great collection of Commando war stories featuring a D-Day theme. Just like the other books published by Carlton it features 12 black and white stories all reprinted at 25% larger than their original size. This collection includes:

  • Ambush at Dawn
  • The Strongpoint
  • Normandy Drop
  • Wrong Time, Wrong Place
  • Big Joe
  • Blood of Heroes
  • D-Day Drop
  • Operation Bulldog
  • Wolf Pack
  • Man of Iron
  • Big Guy
  • The Footsloggers
The book uses the familiar two frames per page style with a generous amount of text. Unlike many modern comic books, Commando give you plenty of story to read but both the writers and the artist remain anonymous which is a great shame as many of them deserve some recognition for their work.  The stories follow the tried and tested Commando formula of an underdog (usually from the lower classes) fighting his way through seemingly insurmountable odds to eventually become the hero.  The writers concentrate on personal interactions rather than an over glorified action movie style script which gives the tales great depth. The weapons and battlefields are historically accurate and all of them are nicely portrayed by the artists to give a great sense of setting.
Commando is not for everyone though, the stories are very heavily British biased and they are written in a style that apes the values and dialogues of the period. If you are a fan of British War comics you should really enjoy “D-Day Fight or Die!” but if not, or if you are German, then this book might not be for you.
There is one sour point in this collection and that is that Carlton included the story “Man of Iron” that was previously included in the “Commando: Dirty Dozen” collection. Of all the hundreds of stories they have to choose from it is inexcusable to double up after so few collected volumes (shame on you Carlton!).

“D-Day Fight or Die!” is another solid collection and worthy of any Commando collectors library. [ISBN-13: 978-1847322838.]. 8/10