A Sailor's Story

Sam Glanzman’s “A Sailor’s Story” gets deserved re-release this week

A Sailor's Story

 

Fans of Charley’s War may be interested in this new edition of legendary comic book artist Sam J. Glanzman’s A Sailor’s Story, first published in hardback by Marvel Comics in 1987 and now being re-released by US publisher Dover Publications, best known for their Dover art books.

Artwork for one of Glanzman's earlier USS Stevens stories published by DC Comics.
Artwork for one of Glanzman’s earlier USS Stevens stories published by DC Comics.

Along with A Sailor’s Story Sam J. Glanzman, now in his nineties, is perhaps best known for his war comics as well as his Charlton Comics series Hercules, about the mythological Greek demigod. Among many other credits (over 1300 of them!) over a long and impressive career, he drew Charlton Comics Fightin’ Army feature “The Lonely War of Willy Schultz” about a German-American US Army captain during World War Two.

Glanzman began his series of biographical war stories about his service aboard the U.S.S. Stevens in Our Army at War #218 for DC Comics, published in 1970 and continued across titles such titles as Our Fighting Forces, Weird War Tales and Sgt. Rock. A collection of these stories is due to be published in 2016.

I picked up the Marvel collection of A Sailor’s Story many years ago. It’s well known that the creators of strips for British comics such as Battle have struggled to deliver a memorable warship-based story, but Glanzman’s stories are a riveting read that deserve attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

This new edition of A Sailor’s Story draws upon his own experiences aboard the destroyer, offering gripping tales of Navy life, including a new 10-page story and a new foreword by New York Times-bestselling author of World War Z, Max Brooks. It realistically depicts a teenager’s military career, from initiation and advancement through the ranks to tours of the Pacific and kamikaze attacks at the Battle of Okinawa.

Eisner Award-winning Astro City author Kurt Busiek has hailed Glanzman as “one of the most honest, dedicated and engaging cartoonists in comics history”  while Chris Claremont notes A Sailor’s Story “isn’t a story of make-believe super-beings; these are real people, with real fears, being transformed by events and circumstances into men of courage.”

 

A Tribute to Sam Glanzman by Mark Wheatley featured in the new collection of A Sailor's Story
A Tribute to Sam Glanzman by Mark Wheatley featured in the new collection of A Sailor’s Story

 

This new collection – deservedly one of Comics Journal‘s top picks of titles on sale this week – unites both A Sailor’s Story and its sequel, A Sailor’s Story: Winds, Dreams, and Dragons, plus a never-before-seen ten-page story of the USS Stevens, “Even Dead Birds Have Wings”. Along with the foreword from Brooks it also includes a new Introduction by original editor Larry Hama, anAfterword by Batman writer Chuck Dixon, and tributes to Glanzman from Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Denny O’Neil, Walt Simonson, Chris Claremont, Timothy Truman, Mark Wheatley and many others.

Web Links

Sam Glanzman Page on Facebook

This page includes some terrific behind the scenes work in progress thumbnails as well as covers and more

Sam J. Glanzman: Lambiek

Sam J. Glanzman: Wikipedia Entry

Read a 2009 interview with Sam J. Glanzman

• Amazon.com has a preview of pages from A Sailor’s Story that isn’t on the amazon.co.uk web site

Dover Publications

• Sam J. Glanzman – Author Page on amazon.com

A list of the published USS Stevens Stories (archive link)

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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