cover image Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961–63

Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961–63

Marcelino Truong. Arsenal Pulp, $26.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-55152-647-8

As the child of a Vietnamese diplomat and his French wife stationed in Saigon in the 1960s, Truong experienced the Vietnam War in a way that few did. In this graphic novel memoir, young Marco and his siblings blithely cross cultures—Vietnamese, French, American—in the midst of a conflict with no clear boundaries. The war creeps up by degrees, from a “lovely little war” of diplomats to a brutal conflict with no justice and no escape. The Truong kids don’t grasp the details—and, unlike the native Vietnamese children, they’re sheltered from most of the violence—but they absorb the war into their daytime games and nighttime anxieties. Meanwhile, Truong’s high-strung mother begins to crumble under the strain. The sometimes spotty narrative jumps between autobiography and history, pulling out to show the political spiderweb that trapped so much of the world in Vietnam. Truong’s bold linework, with spot color that periodically explodes into full watercolor illustrations, brings the era to vibrant life. (Oct.)