The latest issue of the long-running, Hugo Award-nominated fanzine, Journey Planet is available now, the mammoth, free-to-download issue focusing on The American War in Vietnam, and includes features on comics that it inspired – and includes art by Keith Burns, Sara Felix and more.
7th December 2023. Ho Chi Minh City.
On 7th of December 1968, PFC Joe W. Haldeman wrote “Notes from the Jolly Green Jungle” about his experiences in Vietnam, which first appeared in the fanzine ODD #20.
55 years later to the day, the team at Journey Planet are pleased to be able to offer this and his “Tales from the Jolly Green Jungle,” which appeared in ODD #19, in the latest issue of Journey Planet, which looks at the American War in Vietnam by the author who went on to pen The Forever War.
Journey Planet co-editor James Bacon writes from the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City: “It is important to pay respects to those who suffered so much, and here at the Museum, busy with people learning about the horror of the American War in Vietnam, whole sections are dedicated to educating about the War Crimes, the use of Agent Orange as well as a requiem for photojournalists lost and soldiers who fought.”
This issue of Journey Planet looks at the American War in Vietnam and its connections to fans and professionals as we consider the impact of the War.
The impact of the War on comics is considered as the team look at works by Vietnamese comic book creators Nguyễn Thành Phong, Khánh Dương, Huu Do Chi, Nguyễn Khánh Dương, Can Tiểu Hy, and Võ Hùng Kiệt (ViVi). Reprinted within the issue is State Representative Julian Bond’s anti-war comic, Vietnam, which was first published in 1967. The team also look at Snoopy and Charles Shultz during the time of the War, chat to comic writer Garth Ennis, write about artist Joe Kubert’s connection to Vietnam, and look at how DC Comics and Marvel reacted through their publications to the War, at the time, while also making recommendations.
This issue contains a wide selection of art, including artists Keith Burns, Sara Felix, Nguyễn Thanh Phong, Khánh Dương, Guillermo Ortego, Teddy Harvia, Joe Haldeman, Col Art and Rick Swan.
“We look thoughtfully at Vietnamese voices, and how they shared their experience through writing and film,” says James. “We discuss the works of novelists Doan Phuong Nguyen, Aliette de Boddard, Lê Minh Khuê, Dương Thu Hương, and Hoa Pham; filmmaker Eirene Tran Donohue; graphic novel writer/artists GB Tran, Clement Baloup, Marcellino Truong, Thi Bui, and Minh Lê, as we carefully consider how the War is portrayed and shared.
“Along with these Vietnamese voices, and the writings and art of Joe Haldeman, we share the writings of David Thayer of his time of service in Vietnam, along with excerpts of Dick Eney’s fanzine, Curse you Red Baron!, which he published from Saigon while he was stationed there for over five years.
“We are honoured to share first-hand accounts of these vivid experiences with readers,” he continues. “Fans have taken the time to share very personal matters, writing about their family members, some of whom were lost in the War, as they contemplate carefully the personal impact of the War.
“As I sit here with tanks, helicopters, jet aircraft and weapons all placed neatly in the forecourt of the Museum, with the artifacts of war to hand, it is right to reflect on the horror of war, the sadness and loss. We are grateful to the fans who have allowed us to share their stories and memories of the War. These are personal and important stories. It is right that we confront and consider our history, and it is right that we confront and consider the experiences of the Vietnamese–those who lived through the War and those who left and those who extensively wrote about it. We started this issue five years ago, and now, at 104 pages, with dozens of people helping bring it together, we hope that you find the issue of interest.”
With extensive articles by Brenda Noiseux among many contributors, this issue saw Allison Hartman Adams join Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon as co-editor in this broad look at the American War in Vietnam.
Previous issues of Journey Planet have included in-depth reflections on 2000AD, Battle Picture Weekly, Dan Dare, Irish Comics, among other subjects and themes, all available via the Journey Planet web site
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.