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Veterans Who Go to the Vet

We’re mostly about anthropomorphic animals around here, obviously, but now and then it’s interesting to find a project about real-life non-humans and their adventures. Such is the case with Four-Fisted Tales: Animals In Combat, a new non-fiction graphic novel by Ben Towle. “In virtually every military conflict in recorded history animals have fought — and often died — alongside their human counterparts. While countless stories of the men and women who’ve served in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields have been told, Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat shares the stories of the animals who fought alongside them. From Hannibal’s elephants in ancient Rome to mine-sniffing rats in Vietnam and everything in between, Four-Fisted Tales highlights the real-life contributions of these underappreciated animal warriors. Whether in active combat or simply as companions, these animals served and made their mark on history.” It’s available now from Dead Reckoning.

image c. 2023 Dead Reckoning

Apes of War

Evidently this has been a thing for a while, but somehow we missed it. Now, thanks to Oni Press, it’s all together in one place. “Brahm Revel’s critically-acclaimed series is collected for the first time in one volume in the Guerillas: Omnibus Edition! Private John Francis Clayton is on his first tour of duty in Vietnam, facing death at every turn in the middle of a war he doesn’t understand. Clayton is just trying to stay alive when he encounters an elite platoon of…. simian soldiers?!? This squad of chain-smoking chimps is the most dangerous fighting force in the jungle… but whose side are they on?” Find out when this hits the shelves in late March.

image c. 2019 Oni Press

Monsters of War

Whoops! Another, more-recent one that passed us by — and once again it’s about werewolves. Namwolf is a new full-color comic series from Albatross Funnybooks. “When scrawny Marty Spencer is drafted into the Vietnam War, he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the heart of darkness. But Marty has a secret. A secret even from himself. And Vietnam is a hell of a place to find out you’re a werewolf.” It’s written by Fabian Rangel Jr., with art by Logan Faerber. Three issues are out so far, and Comixology has a preview of each.

image c. 2017 Albatross

The Chatter of Doom

Wow, look: Even more anthro animals at war! Is this some kind of a trend? In Squarriors (new from Devil’s Due Entertainment) we join a band of squirrels living after the apocalypse. “Squarriors is the epic saga of warring animals in a post-human world. Specifically a small tribe known as the Tin Kin, and their struggles building a life in the new world while confronting the hostile neighboring Maw tribe. Two tribes of animals find themselves on the brink of war. Will they survive and find peace, or follow humanity into extinction?” That’s the question posed by artist Ashley Witter and writer Ash Maczko in this new full-color comic book series. Like many recent projects it all began on Kickstarter, and now it’s on its way to comic book stores in early December. Check out the official Squarriors web site, and a press release from the creators over at Mad Mimi. WARNING: Graphic, bloody images abound. You have been warned.

image c. 2014 Devils Due Entertainment

image c. 2014 Devils Due Entertainment

Barking and Bravery in Battle

Now and then we like to spotlight something involving real-world animals — especially when they’re doing something that, while maybe not anthropomorphic, definitely feels like something you wouldn’t expect animals to do. Dogs of War is a new full-color graphic novel, coming very soon from Graphix Press in softcover and hardcover editions. From Mile High Comics, here’s the blurb: “Dogs of War is a graphic novel that tells the stories of the canine military heroes of World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. This collection of three fictional stories was inspired by historic battles and real military practice, and each story tells the heroic adventures of a soldier and his service dog. Based on the real-life roles of military dogs that served as Red Cross rescuers, messengers, scouts, search-and-rescue teams, sentries, and mascots, Dogs of War captures both the adventure and the devastation brought on by war, as well as the celebrations of life and friendship between boys and their dogs.” Dogs of War was written by Sheila Keenan and illustrated by Nathan Fox.

image c. 2013 Graphix Press

Berona’s War: The Field Guide

And now for something rather different: Cute and cuddly wars! Berona’s War: The Field Guide comes to us from the minds of Jesse Labbe and Anthony Coffey. According to Previews it’s “an epic tale of two adorable, fur-covered races doomed by their own escalating violence”. Whew. The Ele-Alta and the Cropones are soft and fuzzy on the outside, but hard as nails on the inside. When both tribes lay claim to Berona Island’s most valuable real estate — a land known as Amity — the result can only be bloody war. This full-color hardcover graphic novel is available now from Archaia Comics. This winter, look for the sequel, Berona’s War: Fight for Amity. And check this out for a preview of the whole series.