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It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi - Foreword, Special Thanks, and About the Book Print
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It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi - Foreword, Special Thanks, and About the Book
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About the Artist

Jacques Tardi, who has just entered his fifth decade as one of the defining cartoonists of his generation, was born in Valence, France in 1946. Tardi broke into Pilote magazine with a series of short stories beginning in 1969, soon graduating to graphic novels. In 1976, he launched (for Editions Casterman) his turn-of-the-century serial Adèle Blanc-Sec, of which nine volumes have appeared, most recently (after a decade-long hiatus) Le Labyrinthe Infernal in 2007. The unsmiling heroine is being adapted into a trilogy of movies (“Indiana Jones meets Amélie”) by director/producer Luc Besson, with the first installment slated for release in 2010.

Tardi’s more than 30 graphic novels to date include a number of books about World War I (most recently the two-volume Putain de Guerre) and a long run of detective and crime thrillers, of which five star Léo Malet’s Paris-based private eye Nestor Burma. Tardi was the Grand Prize winner of the 1985 Angoulême comics convention.

Tardi continues to produce graphic novels at a pace that would be daunting to cartoonists half his age. His next release, after the just-completed concluding volume of Putain de Guerre, will be his third book based on a story by Jean-Patrick Manchette (after the collaboration Griffu and the adaptation West Coast Blues), La Position du tireur couché (The Prone Gunman.)

About This Book

It Was the War of the Trenches [New Printing Pre-Order]
It Was the War of the Trenches [New Printing Pre-Order]
Price: $24.99
As Jacques Tardi notes in his introduction, The Great War — that gaping wound in Europe’s history from which has sprung seemingly every horror that has afflicted us since — was on his mind from the beginning. As a child, he was haunted by his grandfather’s war stories; the War was the subject of the first “real” book he read; and when he tried, at the tender age of 22, to sell his first professional comics story to Pilote magazine, that was the subject he chose. (It was rejected.)

While Tardi’s work has ranged through many genres and many periods, from the 1812 war through modern-day France to a faux-Roman postapocalyptic future, he returns to that conflict again and again, sometimes glancingly (as in the Adele Blanc-Sec series, whose heroine sleeps through it, although she wakes up to witness its ghastly residue), sometimes head-on — as he does here (and his most recent work, Putain de guerre!).

It Was the War of the Trenches endured the longest gestation period of any Tardi book: Launched in 1982 in the pages of the legendary French comics anthology (A SUI VRE) and then continued two years later in the hardcover Le trou d’obus (pp. 9-28 of the present edition), it was abandoned for close to a decade and finally completed, once again in (A SUIVRE), in 1993.

But if French readers suffered a patience-straining 12-year wait between publication of the first and final episodes, Trenches’ long march to English-language publication doubled that: RAW Magazine published an early chapter in 19 83 (pp. 31-38); then Drawn and Quarterly cherry-picked three of the latter chapters for its flagship anthology over a decade later. It appears here complete in English for the first time, and newly translated, too — except for the RAW segment whose translator, Kim Thompson, vowed 26 years ago that he would some day complete the job. And so he has.

Books by Jacques Tardi (click covers for complete product details)

West Coast Blues
West Coast Blues
Price: $18.99
You Are There [Sold Out]
You Are There [Sold Out]
Price: $26.99
It Was the War of the Trenches [New Printing Pre-Order]
It Was the War of the Trenches [New Printing Pre-Order]
Price: $24.99


 
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