After creating two noted graphic memoirs, Such a Lovely Little War and Saigon Calling, Marcelino Truong, the son of a Vietnam War–era Vietnamese diplomat, switches to graphic fiction in 40 Men and 12 Rifles: Indochina 1954 to continue telling a nuanced story about the course of the war. Deeply researched and richly illustrated, the book opens in 1953 Hanoi in the midst of the war for liberation waged by Ho Chi Minh’s Communist rebels against the French occupiers. The son of a wealthy landowner, Minh, a young painter dreaming of life as an artist in Paris, is sent by his father to the countryside in an effort to avoid military service. But he is captured by the rebels and pressed into service in the People’s Liberation Army’s Armed Propaganda Unit, who put his drawing skills to use, assigning him to create propaganda to motivate and indoctrinate the Vietnamese people in their fight against the French. In this 11-page excerpt, reprinted with permission from Arsenal Pulp Press, Minh, en route to his APU, encounters a thoughtful PLA officer, a fellow Hanoi native who is disenchanted with their Chinese Communist partners and the obsessive focus on Marxist political dogma. 40 Men and 12 Rifles: Indochina 1954, by Marcelino Truong, is translated by David Homel, and is out now from Arsenal Pulp Press.