Posted by Dennis » Add Comment »
My first great love was not classics, but comics, and unfortunately the two never quite seem to mix for me. I could never get into Eric Shanower’s Age of Bronze, and more recently was disappointed to find that Edmonson and Ward’s Olympus, being far from epic itself, was in fact five kinds of awful. (Need I count the ways? Okay: awful art, awful premise, awful dialogue, awful colors, awfully full of comic book cliches.)
But when I picked up the much-anticipated reprint of Archie Goodwin’s Blazing Combat (1965), which features some of comics’ greatest artists, I was happy to see the story Thermopylae. ECCE:
Art by Reed Crandall (1917-1982)
The piece was drawn by the late Reed Crandall, who deserved a much fuller and more rewarding career and life than he had. The frame—a conversation between the older, wiser Rolfe, and the younger, more fatalistic Tommy, in which the story of Leonidas is told—is set during 1941, with ‘a small force of Greeks, ANZACs and Britons fighting a delaying action at Thermopylae.’ Highly recommended.
It’s enough to make me itch for the end of the school year, to pick up my pencils and brushes, and to make another stab at comics myself.