A brief digression today for a comic I think everyone should read.
I ordered No Enemy, But Peace with a bit of trepidation. Though the art and description sounded promising I am always wary of war-based comics. I think so often we miss the point of war comics, especially one’s set in times of war. Often they exist only to make a political statement, and if it’s one thing we doṉt need when it comes to Iraq it is another political statement.
But the solicitation copy made me think I might get something a little different, the story of one heroic Marine in action. So I decided the $3.50 cover price would be worth it and I put my order in. I’m glad I did.
Richard C. Meyer crafts the story of Corporal Marco Martinez and the Battle of At-Tarmiya with a style of grace rarely seen in a first time comic creator. Meyer is a Iraq vet himself, and it shows in the dialogue, the narration, and every page of detailed weapons and equipment. The dialogue feels true to life, true to human interaction, and without the constant cursing of so many modern war comics. I understand soldiers curse, just like normal folk do, but sometimes I think writers forget that they don’t always do so. We get a few perjoratives through the story, but dialogue isn’t filled with it, and I appreciate that authenticity. I don’t feel like I am reading someone trying to sound like soldiers like I do with books like Army in Love or The Other Side.
The art is somewhat uneven as we hop back and forth from the hyper-detailed art of Martin Montiel Luna and Meyer’s own less detailed style. Meyer’s pages are limited, though, so it only hits in a couple brief places.
Meyer hits on what I think so many people miss in every story of this war, and for that matter, many others. War in our fiction doesn’t have to be, and maybe shouldn’t, be about political statements. Sometimes it&8217;s nice to ignore the condemnation about why we are there, ignore the constant stories about “massive” death counts (that compare in no way to any other war this country has ever fought), and instead focus on the people that fight it. The people that take heroic actions to save those around them in situations so many of us cannot understand.
Bravo, Mister Meyer. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.