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The Sarge


Couldn't find anyone else covering this, so here goes.
I’ve spent recent Sunday afternoons leafing slowly through The Sarge. No complaints.

Jim Watson does some of the art, but his undoubted talent notwithstanding, I was never a fan. His characters always struck me as indistinguishable square-jawed he-men and his inking gives the impression that he had half-a-dozen other jobs to finish that week. Never mind. I came here for Mike Western.
Western’s depiction of military kit is all over the place. Occasionally it’s spot on. (My goodness – is that a real Panzer 35(t)? You don’t see many of them around.) More often it’s unconvincing. (Instead of drawing, say, an MG42, he scribbles in something machine-gun shaped and, evidently deciding that doesn’t work, he adds a few more machine-gunny bits.) But that shouldn’t bother anyone. Western’s strength is is in figures and faces, and if he’s done better than what’s on show here then I have yet to see it.
Finley-Day’s script is boys’ action comic all the way. The story pounds ahead, leaving narrative plausibility somewhere in the dust behind.
Given that this is a British boys’ war comic from the seventies, it’s mercifully light on jingoistic claptrap. (As an Irish boy, I had a bred-in-the-bone mistrust of anything that glorified the British military.)

Read this as God intended – three pages at a time.
For best results, you could read the episodes out of order, with bits missing, in your best mate’s older brother’s room, on a rainy weekend, sometime around 1980.


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