After three years contributing to such British small press titles as FutureQuake and Zarjaz, in 2010 talented London-based comics creator Chris Geary embarked on his ambitious four-volume graphic novel series, International Aces, recounting the true stories of the top pilots of World War One.
Released earlier this year by InkShots.com, Chris was at the London Film and Comic Con this weekend and told me he had been busy promoting his project at various air shows around the country over the summer. Some of the profits from sales of the collection are going toward the RAF Benevolent Fund, who have promoted the project on their web site.
The four volume collection of stories is now available as a boxed set, which looks simply gorgeous. Story-wise, the stories span every air force involved in the conflict, from the Royal Flying Corps, Britain’s predecessor to the Royal Air Force, to Germany’s fliers, including the story of Baron von Richtofen. The series is a beautifully realized graphic document revealing the biographies of the young fliers who literally took their lives in their hands to battle each other above the Western Front from many different countries -English, Indian, German, Austrian, French and more.
Chris’s gorgeous art is complimented by great scripting that captures the danger of air warfare perfectly, and pulls no punches when many of the pilots make their final sortie. In many of the stories, there’s a near poetic, a definite poignancy to the passing of these brave young fliers.
I do hope some of the museum dedicated to recounting the history of war sit up and take notice of this project, because these books should be on sale in each and every one. I’d argue they are a great way to interest people in the history of air warfare, particularly as we draw ever closer to the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War.
International Aces is, quite simply, one of the best produced independent war comics I have ever seen, and Chris Geary has worked hard to promote the title, creating a superb supporting web site to accompany the series. It’s a title that’s been put in front of people who might not normally read comics, hopefully further expanding interest in our medium, so I urge you to check it out.
Chris is also the co-author of Commitment, a graphic novel/guide to risk management, recently – and deservedly – nominated for Most Valuable Agile Innovation award. He is also a regular contributor to the digital comics art magazine Aces Weekly with his ongoing strip, Bleriot. As well as featuring International Aces, there is also a small section on the excellent InkShots.com web site on that story, which featured in Volume 6 of Aces Weekly.
• Chris Geary will be at the MCM Expo at the Excel Centre London (25th – 27th October) on the Aces Weekly table
• Inkshots will be donating £1.50 on each International Aces book sold to the RAF Benevolent Fund. You can buy the collection online at http://inkshot.com
• More about Commitment: http://commitment-thebook.com
• Aces Weekly is at www.acesweekly.co.uk