The Story: Monty and Caprille have joined a bunch of mercenaries. They really shouldn’t have, as they are far too young and inexperienced to stay alive in this harsh and bleak future war. Following a Mech attack in No Man’s Forest they retreat to the abandoned outpost – Fort Endurance.
The Mechs then attack and many men are killed and Caprille is wounded. The legendary warrior Chief Azul leads the fight out into the battlefield to buy time for explosives to be detonated. Monty attempts to rescue Caprille but is shot for his insubordination.
Things are looking pretty bleak…
The Review: I was chuffed to heck to find that the third volume of this excellent series was coming out. It’s a huge favourite in the Esmond household and my copies keep getting snaffled by my son. It tells the story of a bleak war, a future war but one that has so much in common with our realities World War One. It combines action and darkness all in one story. The story has a lot of heart to it and translates the gorey reality of the battlefield to a future world setting. We get the plight of the grunt soldier mixed with the machinations of the generals. The third volume only goes to build on an already impressive storyline and setting.
The art is also to die for, original and highly innovative images follow a mixed world of modern and retro. Stark black, white and grey wash images clash with plays on the cliché of familiar character styles. We get a big touch of manga stylings mixed with some Euro war stories style images. It has a palpable richness to each page and Ortiz has an amazing grasp of violently beautiful movement and action. The violence explodes outwards and upwards, made all the more impressive by the ballet pacing of the fight scenes.
It strikes me that after reading this book, I wish that I could actually type this review using the precise calligraphy that Alice employs at opportune moments on Golden Campaign’s pages – uses that include markings on old school styled table top battlefield maps as well as gorgeously designed trade dress and chapter breaks. The whole book is done with absolute class.
The line has a fascinating eccentricity to it its function and style, carried out with a real flourish yet easy to read. An endless war becomes endlessly surreal.
Sit back and soak up the weird nature of this imagined future reality. A war that is a combination of cartoon overblown violence yet with an underlying grimness. It is not without its own touches of dark humour, many coming through the character designs and their often moustachioed irony.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a preview copy (ha, sucks to be you!) but you can grab a copy at Thought Bubble this coming weekend (14th – 15th of November 2015) or go to cristianortiz.com to grab your own copy and copies of the first two volumes.
• More about the Golden Campaign at http://goldencampaign-crom.com
• Cristian and Alice are part of the London indie comics scene and always a joy to bump into for a chat. So seek them out at Thought Bubble and grab a copy and a sketch.
Many thanks for reading.