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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Historical comics -- Crecy, Northlanders, etc... Opinions? Reply to topic
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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Historical comics -- Crecy, Northlanders, etc... Opinions?         Reply with quote

Recently, there have been a couple of historical fiction comics released that I thought our members might be interested in. I can't go into much detail, because I'm in class right now, but I'll give you a quick summary

Warren Ellis wrote Crecy -- a historical fiction piece depicting the famous battle from the English archers' point of view. It's actually pretty good -- seems to have been well-researched, and the artist's depiction of their equipment is reasonably period-accurate, if I recall correctly. I've got a copy, but all the images I'd use to sell you on it either have a ton of swearing (part of that is Ellis being Ellis, part of that is because he's depicting English commoners), which the mods here don't allow, or it's gory enough that people would complain.

http://www.amazon.com/Warren-Ellis-Crecy/dp/1...amp;sr=8-1

Brian Wood's Northlanders -- about Sven, a Varangian Guardsman forced to leave Constantinople to settle an inheritance squabble back home -- is a decent piece, but I didn't like it as much as Crecy. (Not enough to cough up $10 for volume 1 of Northlanders, at least.) Wood's choice of dialogue is far too modern for 980 AD.

As one reviewer on Amazon said: "My only major complaint is Wood's use of language that you probably wouldn't have heard a Viking use, such as when Sven doesn't hear Hakkar talking to him, because he "Tuned him out for a moment".....Isn't that a term that plays off of radio and television....? Instances like that, and when Sven says he should "Call this guy on his B-S", took me right out of the story and hurt the overall mood of the book."

Edit: I took a look at the previews because of Gavin's comment, and that reminded me of something else that broke suspension of disbelief. I'm no expert on Norse sagas or morality, but setting an ambush by hiding under a deerskin with the head still on...I don't see that being considered acceptable even for a dirty, ugly inheritance squabble.

http://www.amazon.com/Northlanders-Vol-1-Sven...amp;sr=8-1

In conclusion, buy Crecy -- although it's a little expensive, since it's from an independent publishing house -- but definitely read Northlanders before you consider actually spending $10 on the first volume -- unless you can find a cheap electronic copy. (And by cheap, I mean a dollar or two.) Most chain bookstores should have a copy -- I read it over at my local Borders.

Edit: I'm going to go see if I can find one of the aforementioned digital copies of Northlanders and nose through the interior art. Gavin pointed out that the cover art...is historically inaccurate, to put it politely. I may be changing my recommendation to "don't even bother" if the interior art has similar issues.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard


Last edited by Carl Goff on Tue 14 Jul, 2009 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ushio Kawana




Location: Japan
Joined: 17 Aug 2008

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Carl Goff Happy

I read the comic of "Warren Ellis - Crecy" before.
I felt that there was the cruel scnene and expressed real cambat... (Of course I think that some things are dramatized)...

A main character of this book is a "English longbow man".
He explains some arrowhead such as "bodkin" before a battle... and he uses them in the battle. Happy

Bodkin point
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodkin_point
He explains "mercygiver(misericorde)" by the end game of the story... Eek!
So he finish off two wounded knights by using the "mercygiver". Eek!
* A full armoured knight is killed by stabbed through eye-slit of his helmet. Eek!
* A light armoured knight (he ware a "visorless bascinet") is killed by stabbed in a heart through his armpit. Eek!

These things are right historically that "misericorde" was used in Battle of Crecy (and other 100 Years Wars).
I have not watched these illustrations or oil paintings(used a mercygiver after a battle)... Wink
Of course it is written in many sites about "misericorde"... and we can imagine a cruel scene only in a sentence

Misericorde (weapon)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misericorde_(weapon)

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;


Last edited by Ushio Kawana on Tue 14 Jul, 2009 3:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The cover of Northlanders proclaims "Vikings finally done right!" but thus far I beg to differ.

Unfortunately just looking through the previews we find horned and winged helmets, fantasy swords, and my personal favorite, the leather bracer. This is perhaps being unfair, but this looks like another fantasy barbarian comic rather than a sincere attempt at illustrated historical fiction.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
The cover of Northlanders proclaims "Vikings finally done right!" but thus far I beg to differ.

Unfortunately just looking through the previews we find horned and winged helmets, fantasy swords, and my personal favorite, the leather bracer. This is perhaps being unfair, but this looks like another fantasy barbarian comic rather than a sincere attempt at illustrated historical fiction.


*eyeballs previews*

Okay, you're right about that cover art being inaccurate. Hadn't looked at the previews when I linked it. *wince* Chalk up another thing (along with the dialogue, and that ridiculous "disguised as a deer" scene) that fails to impress me about this book. That's a major error to be putting on a cover. Tell you what, let me go digging around -- I may be able to find a digital copy cheap somewhere -- and see if there's anything egregious in the interior

Where are you getting "fantasy swords" from, though? There's some screwy perspective on the covers -- including at least one seax that's been grossly exaggerated -- but we've already addressed the fact that the covers aren't very good. The few swords visible in the previews of the interior art look like...

*squints, uses Albion's NextGen page as a reference sheet*

...a Type X with a thicker-than-normal guard, and a couple Type S or Type AEs.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I took the liberty of highlighting some elements that looked wrong to me. Obviously I'm no expert but I think that the overall effect is definitely not historical fiction but rather historicalish fantasy. The sword blades appear to be diamond in cross sectionand the hilt shapes don't look like anything I'm familiar with in that era (or really any era).


That's not to say that they aren't awesome stories and well worth the read; I'm sure they're loads of fun.



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There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shields are also not like any surviving finds of the period it is supposed to be related to.
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