Release: August 2008
Writer and Artist: Brahm Revel
Store: 1000000 Comics (Montreal, Quebec)
My generation was raised on Vietnam War stories, especially in the cinema: Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Good Morning, Vietnam and Born on the Fourth of July are just a few of the high-profile films which left an indelible imprint on our collective consciousness. As such, there initially doesn't appear to be much new on offer in Guerillas. All of the usual motifs are here: soldiers far too young on the march through rice paddies, surrounded by palm trees, never really sure who the enemy is or when they will strike, treatment of anyone Vietnamese as far less than human, etc.
And yet, there is something strikingly personal about this particular story. We are introduced to the protagonist, John Francis Clayton, as a complete person. In just a few pages, we see all of his misgivings about his new surroundings and also quite a lot of the background that brought him to this point. The action is certainly compelling enough to drive the story forward. Then, on the issue's last page, the author completely drops the ball...
Chimpanzees! First Clayton's unit is completely wiped out (except for himself) by a Viet Cong ambush. Then the VC are similarly decimated by what turns out to be a troop of chimpanzees in full military garb. It's bad enough that chimps are African, not Asian but after what had been surprisingly elegant storytelling, you give us chimp soldiers? You've gotta be kidding!!!
***END OF SPOILER***
My scavenger hunt was pretty straight-forward: find single-issue comic
books off the rack with titles starting from A-Z. Go check out the rest
of the participants in this year's A-Z challenge. The official site is