World War II may seem ancient in comparison to today and yet its impact remains very much alive. This year, we mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, beginning with the landing on D-Day on June 6, 1944. This Memorial Day, as the U.S. honors members of the Armed Forces who died in service, we can look back at the heroic efforts of those who quite literally helped to save the world seventy years ago.
“Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day, The Allied Invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe” is a masterful interplay of text and image by writer and artist Wayne Vansant. It tells the story of D-Day and provides a sweeping account of the Allied invasion all the way up to the liberation of France and cheering in the streets of Paris.
Military strategy, in order to succeed, must be focused and rational. In Vansant’s account, we follow the many details of the war, the decisions and actions at the very top from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, and Gen. Omar Bradley, down to the men on the ground, that would lead to victory. What Vansant has done is akin to taking a massive novel and rendering it in miniature, as a short story. Every panel is packed with information, the pace is brisk, and the narrative is riveting.
This is not a romanticized view. Death, and violence, are not glorified. What Vansant does, at every step, is provide a straightforward account. And he most assuredly honors sacrifice. We may only get a panel of description about kind-hearted Major Tom Howie but it speaks volumes.
And then, as we turn the page, we come to find that the major did not survive the war. In a couple of panels, Vansant says it all.
“Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day, The Allied Invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe,” published by Zenith Press, is a 104-page graphic novel and is available at Amazon right here. Visit our friends at Zenith Press here.