New Charley’s War collection: Bravo, Rebellion!
Rebellion have done an absolutely brilliant job on the new Charley’s War series. This really is the definitive edition. Everyone concerned must have put a helluva lot of work into it; so my sincere thanks to all those concerned. I know many (maybe all?) the pages were rescanned, so special thanks to Moose Harris who I believe was at the heart of that operation and John Freeman of Down the Tubes for being so supportive of Charley all these years.
The detail and the passion in the book is absolutely mesmerising and it’s now seen in its full glory. And with colour pages, too. Line-work that was hitherto blurred is sharply defined. It’s hard to believe the UK comic industry, with all the wretched obstructions thrown in our path over the decades, can foster an artist like Joe who has produced such a masterpiece. I hope his genius gets the further acknowledgement it deserves. I’ve been saying since the early days of Charley’s War that he is Britain’s greatest comic artist and this new edition surely proves it.
It’s so powerful, it’s going to be a while before I will be able to look at it properly because tears come to my eyes, not just for Joe and for the story, but also for the reality of the Great War, which has been shamefully covered up by our rulers in these centenary years. A subject I’ve written about and lectured on elsewhere. I daren’t linger on it here, or turn the pages of the book because it will just remind me how our forefathers were betrayed by organised murderers and war criminals and how their memory is still betrayed today. See, for example, Harry Patch, the last Tommy, and his words on the subject.
One further element had me in tears. The red poppy, which has been hijacked by our jingoistic militarist rulers as a symbol of supposed patriotism – and featured on the Titan covers despite my reservations – is now replaced by the white poppy. At last! I couldn’t believe it at first. We are living in an age where all establishment outlets downplay or don’t feature the anti-war movement in the Great War. For example, the British Library bookshop had not one book on conscientious objectors in sight when I checked. Yet the movement was so much stronger than our lying ‘historians’ (who are little better than government shills, and have literally taken the King’s Shilling with their fake histories) will have you believe. It is so heart-warming to see this symbol of peace – and not war – on Charley’s War.
Bravo, Rebellion. You have done me and Joe proud. Thank you, guys.
This, on balance, is the best version of Charleys War to see print yet. Comparing it to the Titan prints it seems clearer and cleaner, and it’s great seeing the colour pages return as I remember them.
My only wish is that they would print this with stitched binding in hardcover. The glued binding is actually very sturdy, but there is some gutter loss in the middle and I find stitching better for longevity.
That said I can appreciate also how the cheaper binding would make the book more available for those who can’t afford the extra money, so on balance I’m glad it will have the chance to reach a wider audience.
This is the best version of Charleys I have seen in print. If future printings use this as the master I will be very happy.
I am trying to buy the Titan editions but can’t locate a reasonably priced Volume 9. Prices are absolutely ridiculous and as much as I love CW, I can’t bring myself to pay that much. Anyone know why Vol 9 is hard to find and really really expensive? It looks like my collection will have to include the Rebellion Vol 3 edition.
I suspect print run. What’s the price of the final 10th volume now?
I was lucky to get mine at my store in the states when they came out. Sorry won’t part with mine.
You might find it collecting dust in US stores. Military/ War comics are not as popular or appreciated here sadly.
Is the story set in World War 2 going to be in the definitive collection?
I started reading Charley’s War during the 80s Battle Action reprints. Even as a nine-year-old I could identify that this was a cut above the jingoistic crud. Three images of Joe’s have always haunted me: one of Uhlans emerging through the haze, they and their horses wearing gas-masks; then the Westshires going over the top: there are five or six tommies in the picture and Joe has desperate, stark, wide-eyed terror etched unforgettably into their eyes and finally the column of blinded, wounded tommies heading to the rear of the Somme, each with his hand on the shoulder of the man in front.
As a child I understood at some level that this is the true face of war, not Captain Hurricane.
As far as I’m concerned Charley’s War fits with Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration’ Trilogy, Eric Bogle’s ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ and Derek Robinson’s ‘Goshawk Squadron’ as a brilliant artistic denunciation of that war and war in general.
Kudos Pat and kudos, always, Joe.
So looking forward to the Rebellion editions of Charley’s War. I have all of the Titan volumes already. Has anyone heard if the Rebellion Definitive collections of Charley’s War will contain the six missing pages that were not included in the Titan hardcover Charley’s War book #7? This can be referenced here: http://www.charleyswar.net/missing-page … at-mutiny/ .
Also, would anyone have a * working URL * that has the six missing pages so that they can be printed to insert into Titan book #7? The location listed in the above site does not work properly.
They appear to be there. The first page that is shown in the link you give, is in the Rebellion collection, and the storyline continues without a break.
I haven’t got the Titan books to check, but I wasn’t aware there were six missing pages.
I read this via my local library as I was not sure if it would be my cup of tea in regards to making a purchase and adding it to my collection – I thought I would give the first volume a go one evening and ending up reading 4 volumes into the early hours of the next morning – the story is engrossing , shocking and so full of humanity and I could relate so much of it to stories that my late uncle told me about his experiences during wartime .
I was going to purchase the Titan editions but am glad I waited as these definitive versions do seem great reproductions of the artwork (along with the colour pages) – the only thing that bothers me is based on the page counts Amazon has (320 per volume) it seems that not all of the story contained in the 10 titan volumes (approx 120 pages per volume) is being reprinted – does anyone know if this is the case or how I would go about finding out
Thanks Peter, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I asked Rebellion about the content. Their reply:
Rebellion tells me…
The three volumes do indeed contain the entire story! The difference in total page count is due to the historical essays and forwards in the Titan editions.
Also on Amazon, the page counts for volumes 2 and 3 should be 336 and 368! We’ll get the Amazon data updated asap.
Thanks so much for that – my orders going in – looking forward to re-reading the whole story.
Most definitely. He may not have the ‘fame’ that some artists and writers have today back when he was working, but hopefully more people become aware of his stunning art. I hold artists like him, Ian and Cam Kennedy in high regard. Working away in the pre-internet age, using what reference material they could get (libraries, real life?) and producing masterful art week in, week out. Inspiring.
I own the Titan reprint run. Any attempts to reprint full circle with the Charleys War WW2 stories?
If no, what numbered issues of Battle Action contained WW2?
So looking forward to to seeing both of your work in full glory, I seem to remember a Russian part to the series and a world war two continuation (are these part’s included…
I cannot stress how happy I am to see these new volumes coming out. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few emails with you, Pat, over the years, and CW remains to this day, my all-time fave comic strip. I don’t even think ‘comic strip’ does the story justice. It’s an epic tale with some of the most emotional artwork and story arcs I’ve ever read. I can still those panels in my head! My kids are a little older now, and they know a little about it. With the advent of these new volumes, I think they’ll be reading it with me all over again. And for the record, my son is even named after Charley! So, well done indeed to Rebellion, I can’t wait to re-acquaint myself with it all again.
That’s so lovely to hear – thank you so much! The Rebellion editions really are beautiful productions, and give us an even deeper appreciation of Joe’s art.
Loved this growing up in the 70s and80s artwork and storylines phenomenal