White Death

Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard. Image, $14.99 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-63215-142-1
This savage historical chiller is among the year’s most harrowing graphic novels. It’s 1916 in the Trentino mountain range. Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers are battling the brutal elements, as well as each other and their maniacal officers. Morrison’s (Nikolai Dante) book, written in 1998, is presented in a new edition and has lost none of its punch—the intro refers to the 2013 funeral of two Austrian soldiers found frozen in the ice after being shot dead nearly a century earlier. The story follows Italian Pietro Aquasanta, who was drafted by the other side when war started, then captured and sent to fight for his home country. The bloodily dehumanizing monotony of trench warfare familiar to students of the “war to end all wars” is just the first step in a ladder of horrors unique to the terrain. Frozen corpses are used as sandbags and soldiers are buried alive by the thousands by artillery barrages that start avalanches. Artist Adlard is best known for The Walking Dead, so he’s no stranger to putting dread on the page; his charcoal and chalk on gray paper illustrations manage to be both deadening and beautiful at the same time, perfectly attuned to this story’s snow-blinded wintry horrors. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Comics
Open Ebook - 104 pages - 978-1-63215-190-2
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