[Will Eisner] Last Day in Vietnam [world history Book] Kindle ePUB

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A memoir of stories about soldiers who are engaged not only in the daily hostilities of war but World War 2 was Will Eisner s war though his association with the military would last for decades He turned instructional manuals into comics to make them easier to read for army personnel and his work took him to new theatres of war like Korea and Vietnam in the 1950s and 60s In one of his last books Last Day in Vietnam he revisited these warzones to tell some brilliant short stories of the people he met The title story is the longest a point of view tale where the reader is escorted by a soldier on his last day in Vietnam before returning to America We see the infrastructure the dead faces of the soldiers in the field the terrifying explosions on the horizon the beauty and the menace of the jungle and the constant threat of death everywhere And yet it s not all doom and gloom as Eisner mixes in some light humour and a few sharply observed portraits of the men he met The other stories are brief snapshots of soldiers told with a virtuoso eye for comics storytelling The Periphery sees a man stagger into a bar after seeing his son blown up in front of him though he doesn t speak and is also tucked away in the corners of the picture or the periphery of the page The dialogue and the focus is on the group of jaded journalists talking about the war The Casualty is a silent comic possibly because the main character has been deafened who recounts sleeping with a Vietnamese hooker only for her to get up when he was asleep slip a live grenade under his bed and run off crippling him Ever the romantic he nevertheless finds another Asian woman to be with by the end A Dull Day in Korea looks at a southerner who talks about hunting back home in America and how he misses being with his dad on those hunts It s a brilliantly captured portrait of a lonely angry man in the middle of nowhere in his own head Hard Duty is a wonderfully drawn comical look at a very strong soldier who comes across as intimidating but he s the only one who ll visit the nearby orphanage to play with kids from US soldiersVietnamese women A Purple Heart for George is the final and best story A tale from Eisner s time in WW2 the story follows George a man who tries to transfer from his unit because he wants to die but only when he s drunk His friends in the office get in early to tear up his application secretly saving his life every week And then one week they aren t around I love Eisner s drawing style His later work post Spirit is totally without panels but it s almost like there are invisible panels on the page the art looks very fluid but it s also incredibly controlled The figures are well placed in a scene the choreography is real but still remarkable and very visual A good trick to see the uality of an artist is to just look at the images and seeing if you can understand what s happening on the page without reading the script Eisner s art is this good every time As Matt Fraction notes in his introduction it s astonishing that Eisner sat on a story like A Purple Heart for George for so many years without putting it out earlier though it s even impressive that even at the end of his life Eisner was still crafting comics this good The shortness of the book is what keeps it from being up there with his greats but Last Day in Vietnam is still an utterly brilliant book that entertains and informs as much as it instructs in the art of comics It s easy to see why the most prestigious award in comics is named after him

Summary è eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ☆ Will Eisner

Last Day in Vietnam

And yet display the incredible insight into humanity characteristic of the author's entire oeuv Not Eisner s best work I don t see him playing with the form of comics as much as he did in any of his previous books Still this book was an interesting take on the Vietnam War principally because it was told through an Eisner narrative structure The reader gets several small stories told from different perspectives a trick Eisner used in almost all of his work Because of this the reader gets a lot of little impressions of the Vietnam conflict as well as several small studies of humanity

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Also in larger personal combat It features stories that are comical heart rending frightening I ve loved the work of Will Eisner for a long time starting with Fagin the Jew and reading over and over his Contract with God Trilogy Last Day in Vietnam is one of his later works published to my understanding 5 years before his passing In it Eisner explores not only the Vietnam War but war in general and as always with his work the struggles of an individual working their way through this world in whatever way they canThere is a marked otherness to the stories in Last Day in Vietnam Eisner s characters often face front and address the reader as if they are breaking the fourth wall solilouizing Their poses from panel to panel are reminiscent of classic pantomime Most of the time this direct address is well unaddressed but in the first story of the collection Last Day in Vietnam the reader IS acknowledged as a character a journalist an observer to the conflict And in reading the collection s Introduction one learns that the reader and the author are one and the sameAfter time spent serving in World War II writing and illustrating for the newspaper as well as creating instructional comic pamphlets on the subject of machine maintenance Eisner continued working for the military after his service traveling to Korea and Vietnam Last Day in Vietnam contains fictionalized accounts of his experiences during that time This creates a uniue perspective of someone having experienced war writing about a war in which he was not directly involved But as always with Eisner the stories he tells are universal ones and this universal nature strengthens one of the main themes of Last Day in VietnamHistorically we have a tendency to simplify wars down to a few key components The Civil War was brother against brother despite the fact that many Northerners held the same prejudicedsegregationist beliefs as the Confederacy We revere those who fought in World War II as being part of the greatest generation despite the fact that the Allies and the United States in particular were also guilty of unsavory tactics and human rights violations For someone like me who has never experienced war it s easy to think about and discuss the politics and morality of war without understanding what it s like to be in battle Often there is this feeling of us and them not us VS them but us and them as if there s a fundamental difference between those who fight and those who don t To me this feels especially prevalent in writings regarding the Vietnam war It is my understanding that in witnessing the carnage on their television sets the United States turned against the Vietnam War as an American military endeavor and shunned its veterans upon returning home How could our soldiers do such atrocious things Were they always capable of such acts or did war change them Could war change any of us Works such as In the Lake of the Woods and Apocalypse Now show soldiers absolutely ruined by war with no hope of assimilating back into normal societyEisner does something different He focuses less on the aftermath on the events of the war itself And instead of dissecting big offensives and climactic turns in battle he turns his attention instead to the smaller details of wartime life And these are not just soldiers these are people These are not just soldiers When they look up at us from the pages we know that we are them and they are usIt should be noted by the way that I ve never seen MASH though I assume it does something similarThe Vietnam War in Last Day in Vietnam is both lurking in the background and front and center It informs the decisions of the characters lives but we never get a sense of how sinister the war effort truly is Its implication informs the stories but always as a lurking presence something beyond our scope of comprehension and indeed beyond the understanding of the characters speaking to usTo go into any detail delving into individual stories would I think ruin Eisner s effectiveness He s not in the habit of crafting elaborate twists but his monologues freuently lead to emotionally devastating conclusions beautiful devastation that is worth experiencing with fresh eyesTo me this is not Eisner s most compelling work but make no mistake that it is compelling If you ve never read his stuff before this is a fine introduction to a man who revolutionized a medium


10 thoughts on “Last Day in Vietnam

  1. says:

    Short stories told by a former soldier Love the art work Interesting and captivating Love love love Will Eisner's style

  2. says:

    World War 2 was Will Eisner’s war though his association with the military would last for decades He turned instructional manuals into comics to make them easier to read for army personnel and his work took him to new theatres of war like Korea and Vietnam in the 1950s and 60s In one of his last books Last Day in Vietnam he revisited thes

  3. says:

    Visceral look at the transition many Vietnam vets had to deal with One of my friends who was in Vietnam said this GN hit me in the gut

  4. says:

    I've loved the work of Will Eisner for a long time starting with Fagin the Jew and reading over and over his Contract with God Trilogy Last Day in Vietnam is one of his later works published to my understanding 5 years before his passing In it

  5. says:

    A set of short stories about war from Eisner showing us as he routinely did in his work the future of comics through true honest stories about real people In the intro Eisner writes about his military experience bo

  6. says:

    Hey it is Will Eisner book how could one go wrong

  7. says:

    I love you Will Eisner 3

  8. says:

    Not Eisner's best work I don't see him playing with the form of comics as much as he did in any of his previous books Still this book was an interesting take on the Vietnam War principally because it was told through an Eisner narrative structure The reader gets several small stories told from different perspectives a trick Eisner used in almost all of his work Because of this the reader gets a lot of little impressions

  9. says:

    Will Eisner's Last Day in Vietnam is a graphic novel capturing individual events from the author's tours as a war journalist through several war zones across a couple decades All are first person accounts with artwork being drawn from the author's point of view and characters in the panels addressing the author

  10. says:

    I picked this up randomly off the graphic novels shelf in the library which shamefully is located in the children's area because I was drawn to the title I knew absolutely nothing about it before I checked it outThis is a wonderfully drawn set of stories from both the Vietnam and the Korean wars It shows the i