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Author Topic: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden  (Read 269 times)

Tjm86

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Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« on: 09 June, 2020, 01:16:26 PM »
Well, I did say that I was taking a punt on this based on the DownTheTubes article.  It came.  I read it.  Wow.

To the writing, it is pretty typical Ennis fare.  The influence of Battle is evident in the misbegotten bunch of misfits that comprise the core characters.  Their mishaps and pratfalls through a series of key engagements that seem to have slipped by the American History of World War 2 are, as he himself notes in the postscript, fictional agglomerations of historical events.

The cast of supporting characters is fairly typical of such tales.  We have the usual assortment of contemptuous CO's, glory boys and civvies.  Historical figures are rendered from a distance.  As always Ennis tries to reserve judgment on the actions of real figures.

I have to be honest, and a little apologetic, but Holden's artwork is something of a surprise for me.  As I've mentioned elsewhere, I didn't think he was a good fit for the Traitor General strip whereas on Dredd he tends to work reasonably well and strips that have a more comedic bent to them tend to show his strengths.

On this though his art works incredibly well.  Whereas some artists struggle to render military hardware accurately, this is not an issue here.  From ships to aircraft there is a high level of accuracy.  The same is true of character dress, from military through to civilian.

The muddy, dull colour palate suits the story exceptional well too.  There is a stark, grim feel to the tale that flows from the script, through to the artwork in all aspects.

Overall then it is an impressive piece of quasi-historical fiction.  The mix of fact and fiction works well.  The visual rendering complements the story.  The binding is completely justified.

Possibly the only flaw in the work is Ennis' fairly typical fate for his characters.  Granted it is in keeping with the tenor of the piece but there is a degree of predictability here.  Anyone familiar with Ennis' war stories will be hardly surprised here.  Ultimately though it is only a minor quibble and verging on the pedantic.

If you have not yet done so, I would heartily recommend seeking out a copy.  It's well worth it.  And if Mr Holden does happen past, my thanks and apologies.  This piece has forced a radical reappraisal of your work sir, I would love to see more in this vein.

pauljholden

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #1 on: 09 June, 2020, 01:56:25 PM »
Ta!
Quote
This piece has forced a radical reappraisal of your work sir, I would love to see more in this vein.

The Battle special :)

-PJ
La Placa Rifa

Colin YNWA

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #2 on: 09 June, 2020, 02:03:38 PM »
Also his work on Battlefields 'Happy Valley' has some glorious Wellington Bomber stuff if you like the aeronautics.

Proudhuff

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #3 on: 09 June, 2020, 04:24:42 PM »
I’m about half as through this, and its everything TjM86 says, highly recommended, and has a wonderful heft to it, and is a pleasure to hold (a bit like myself)
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

TordelBack

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #4 on: 09 June, 2020, 05:57:46 PM »
... has a wonderful heft to it, and is a pleasure to hold (a bit like myself)

I understood you were more an archival-gloves-and-tweezers kind of guy.

I have got to get myself one of these,  the preview pages are full-on glaaaaargle.

Tjm86

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #5 on: 09 June, 2020, 08:27:26 PM »
Ta!
Quote
This piece has forced a radical reappraisal of your work sir, I would love to see more in this vein.

The Battle special :)

-PJ

Tidy!  Looking forward to that then (well already was but ....)

Proudhuff

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #6 on: 10 June, 2020, 02:26:42 PM »
... has a wonderful heft to it, and is a pleasure to hold (a bit like myself)

I understood you were more an archival-gloves-and-tweezers kind of guy.


Only at work   ;)
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

73north

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Re: Stringbags by Ennis and Holden
« Reply #7 on: 02 August, 2020, 05:36:41 PM »
I agree with the comment - about Garth Ennis - his Hellman of Hammer Force in the 2020 Action
was the most enjoyable war story for a long time , with the exception of Jaegir