Titan Books is to release Charley’s War: A Boy Soldier in the Great War, a terrific omnibus collection of Charley’s War stories on 8th August, which features all-new scans of many pages direct from original art by Joe Colquhoun.
While the material has previously been published by Titan – and, indeed, has been one of their most popular and critically-acclaimed British comics collections, the first volume released back in 2004 – what makes this edition a must have purchase are the all-new art scans, which mean the artwork, where it still exists, is being published to a better quality than its original appearance in the weekly war comic Battle in 1979 and 1980.
This edition comprises the strips published in Titan’s first four hardback volumes and is accompanied by “Charley’s War” site founder Neil Emery’s ‘stripography’, a rare interview with artist Joe Colquhoun conducted by Stephen Oldman, first published in Lew Stringer’s zine Fantasy Express in 1982; and a feature on the evolution of the tank by Steve White.
“Charley’s War” writer Pat Mills‘ original annotations to the story also feature, rounding out this collection of truly classic piece of British comics history, by turns thrilling, humorous and horrifying.
The strip has, justifiably, been heralded by some as the greatest British comic strip ever created, telling the gripping story of an underage British soldier called Charley Bourne fighting during World War I.
The publication of this new collection ties in with the advent of the centenary of the beginning of the Great War, covering Charley’s first arrival in thetrenches, the battle of the Somme, and a terrifying zeppelin raid over London.
It’s a compelling collection for established fans of the series and the new scans more than justify buying this new edition, in my opinion. It’s also an ideal starting place for new readers.
• Charley’s War: A Boy Soldier in the Great War is on sale from 8th August 2014.
• There will be an exhibition of art from “Charley’s War” as part of their Great War in Comics exhibition at the Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal from 28th September until 6th December 2014 and “Charley’s War” art is also currently on display at the Cartoon Museum in London and on permanent display at Bovington’s Tank Museum