Friday, June 03, 2016

Forgotten Books: Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day - Wayne Vansant

I recently ran across this trade paperback from 2012, and with the 72nd anniversary of D-Day coming up, this seemed like a good time to read it. I remember Wayne Vansant's work from the Marvel Comics series THE 'NAM, and he's an excellent choice to produce historical volumes such as this one.

NORMANDY is subtitled A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF D-DAY, but that's kind of misleading. Yes, there are illustrations on every page (very good ones, too), but there's also a great deal of text, so this is sort of a cross between a prose history and a graphic novel. Vansant starts with a quick background of the early days of World War II and then launches into the planning for the Allied invasion of Europe, which took several years, before covering the events of D-Day, June 6, 1944, itself. The combination of text and art is very clear and concise and historically accurate, as far as I can tell. I'm not a D-day "buff", but I've read quite a bit about it.

Despite the book's title, the planning and the invasion are covered in approximately the first third of this volume. The rest of the book is concerned with the Allies' advance across France, through the hedgerow country and beyond, all the way to the liberation of Paris. It draws to a close there, but there are other volumes in the series. I plan to get them as well, because NORMANDY is an excellent slice of history and well worth reading.

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