Friday, 19 October 2007

Crecy: The Comic

I've just treated myself to this and what a treat it was. The comic deals with warfare during the hundred years war from the perspective of an English archer who speaks directly to the reader. It's a black and white graphic novel with very atmospheric, and at times heavily inked artwork. The language is foul by modern standards but only serves to add to the atmosphere.



The battle scenes are graphic and create a grim impression of medieval warfare. There are some nice maps and the writer does a great job of explaining some of the reasons why the English won and killed so many French nobles. There's another review on Jason Michelitch's blog with examples of the artwork.

In preparing this post I came across the following synopsis which couches the story in terms that modern day Americans will recognise:
"A highly trained but under equipped army invades another country due to that country's perceived threat to home security. The army conducts shock-and-awe raids designed to terrify the populace. This army is soon driven to ground, and vastly outnumbered. The English army has to stand and fight, in Crecy, France. On 26 August 1346, modern warfare changed forever. This is the story of England's greatest battle."
The book itself is far better than the above suggests. A medieval chevauche (or plundering raid) is not the same as modern day "shock and awe" tactics. More importantly the English were never "driven to ground" before winning one of their greatest victories and changing the nature of warfare for the next 200 years. The wikipedia article is better.

This is not for the faint hearted but I recommend it; not least because at the moment it's only £3.41 at Amazon.

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