Ace comic artist and illustrator Nick Spender has been beavering away on The Story of the Dambusters, a comics project telling the story of “Operation Chastise” for a long time, occasionally mailing me pages of work in progress. At last, we’re pleased to report that he’s finally published it as a digital edition for Kindle – and it looks tremendous.
The 1943 Dam Busters raid is a legend of the Second World War, a classic tale of an inspired genius and the fearless adventurers who made his idea a reality. Until the raid known as Operation Chastise, there had never been such a bold mix of applied science, bravery and chance, and it could all have ended so differently.
In The Story of the Dambusters, Nick unfolds the drama and spectacle of this extraordinary true story as a full colour in this new comic telling, reviving the spirit of 1950s comic-book art and design, the comic strip accompanied by background design images of the bombers and the bombs. Anyone who grew up reading Look and Learn or Eagle, or who recalls the front cover “war stories” of comics such as Valiant, will enjoy this version of the story, made most famous, perhaps, by the 1955 film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd, directed by Michael Anderson.
Previously an illustrator for the BBC, Nick, who lives in Scotland, has been a freelance illustrator since 1986, working on numerous projects from military imagery to greetings cards.
“… I’m still debating what to do next,” Nick tells me. “My partner, Penny, would like to do a new interpretation of King Arthur and his Knights or Norse Legends, whereas I quite like the idea of another Boys’ Own type story – the sinking of the Tirpitz – but it might look a bit too much like the Dam Busters… Decisions, decisions!”