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Tardi, Translator: Jenna Allen

The True Story of the Unknown Soldier

On sale date: January 18, 2022

Mad geniuses, Jules Verne-style deliriums, dinosaurs, sex, bloodshed, and the madness of World War I — two strange and surreal early works by a master of the comics form.

Fantagraphics presents two experimental, early works by the French cartooning legend Tardi. These comics, created in the mid-'70s, provide a fascinating preview of the masterworks of his prolific career. While they are not narratively linked, an eerie sense of foreboding suffuses stories in this collection: they both depict sex and brutal violence and condemn the horrors of war.

The True Story of the Unknown Soldier follows a pulp novelist turned soldier who, driven to delirium amidst the trenches of WWI, becomes tormented by visions of his own seedy creations. This stream-of-consciousness tale visualizes the tortured psyche of its protagonist through dazzling dreamscapes and surreal scenarios. In The National Razor, a soldier returns from war a shattered man. Drowning himself in drink, he wanders the streets of Paris without purpose; in this numb stupor, he finds himself caught up in strange situations, lashes out in unexpectedly violent ways, and ultimately meets with a bloody end. At once a visceral depiction of the trauma wrought by war and a powerful denunciation of the death penalty and France's iconic guillotine.

Specs

Pages
64
Format
Hardback
Color
Black-and-white.
Dimensions
9" × 12"
ISBN-13
9781683965138
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