When the Comics Went to War

When the Comics Went to War is an expansive, authoritative history of the British war comic book genre, from the first publications to appear in the 1880s to the last new titles to appear in the 1990s. Featuring a wealth of material sourced from the original war comic publishers and from private collectors, this lavishly illustrated book charts the evolution of warfare as children lived through it, relating to actual events such as the Western Front in 1914s police actions around the world. In the late nineteenth century, war comics had such a powerful effect on readers that they were seen to provide ideal recruitment opportunities for the British Army and Navy, inspiring young men to sign up to serve their country. Their popularity grew substantially throughout much of the 20th century, with titles such as Victor, Valiant, and Warlord achieving weekly circulations in excess of two million copies during the 1950s to ’70s. While the genre later experienced a sharp decline, that many vintage war comic titles continue to be reprinted in significant numbers today is a testament to their enduring popularity. From Union Jack and Boys of the Empire to Commando, Air Ace and Combat, this unique and nostalgic celebration of war comic books will jog the memories of older readers and introduce the magic of these war stories to a whole new generation.

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