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Alan's War by Emmanuel Guibert
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English (12)  French (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (15)
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This is the story of one man's war. It is not the story of WWII, but the story of one man (Alan Cope) and his personal day to day life as he lived through those years in France. Alan didn't fight in any famous battles or according to himself, show any acts of bravery. His war could be called mundane, but no one can go through fighting and surviving a world war without having tales to tell and these are Alan's tales in his own words illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert. The book was good and I enjoyed my time with it. There are a few things that made it not a five-star read for me. It drags a bit, being overly long. Guibert doesn't do as much of his photograph/illustration mixture artwork for a good portion of the book, which I can understand because of the lack of photos taken during the actual combat years, but still I felt their absence. Finally, I simply didn't like Alan. I had a small inking after reading the story of his childhood that as an adult he might rub me the wrong way, and this book certainly confirmed that. I didn't like his worldview, outlook, or opinions. So that does take away from the enjoyment of reading the minutia of his life. But all told I did like this quiet, personal look at one man's war. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jan 17, 2015 |
Beautiful drawings and great snippets of life and history. You shouldn't expect a tight overarching story-arc, though it does take you through some very significant parts of Alan Copes' life from his beginnings as a soldier through to getting old and seeing his friends also get old.

The episodic nature of the story-telling meant it was easy to put down at points and I can imagine not necessarily getting round to picking it up immediately, but the fantastic drawings and anecdotal materials means you could dip into it any time. ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
I confess to not finishing this. I'm afraid that Alan's war was too personal, too microcosmic to hold my interest for long enough to hook me. I wanted to like it more than I did. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
“When I was eighteen, Uncle Sam told me he’d like me to put on a uniform and go off to fight a guy by the name of Adolf. So I did.”

A chance encounter between comic creator and an elderly American gent not only cemented a lifelong friendship but produces this wonderful memoir of a young American GI who joined up during the last years of WWII. Cope is a wonderfully story teller and Guibert skilfully joins a series of vignettes into a flowing narrative, letting Copes voice shine through.

It’s a very personal account, Cope saw very little action but it’s nevertheless as fascinating as it is moving. A coming of age tale just as much a tale of WWII. We follow his friendships, the banalities of war mixed with its sharp, sudden dangers, his blossoming love of Europe, his struggle to make a place in the world.

The art is deceptively simple and very beautiful; an image hanging in white space, concentrating the mind and allowing the imagination to fill in. I can imagine its very much what someone see as they listen to the story.

Highly recommended to everyone, even non comics fans will find something to like here. ( )
  clfisha | Feb 7, 2012 |
This episodic memoir gives a great picture of an everyman who gets drafted into Uncle Sam's army and winds up in Europe. If you want shoot-em-up heroics, look to Marvel. This is a quiet achievement - I feel like I know and like Alan and wish the book was longer. ( )
  mikerr | Jun 28, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
It's a picaresque memoir of a Californian soldier who was shipped to Europe during the last days of WWII, just in time to see the comic, banal, and wrenching scenes associated with the wind-down of hostilities.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 28, 2008)
Die Geschichte erzählt die Erlebnisse vom Soldat Alan Cope, einem Amerikaner aus Kalifornien. Die Berichte sind von seinem Leben mehr als aus dem Krieg. Der Krieg ist hier Metaphor für Leben. Alan Cope, als er 18 Jahre wurde, wird er in zweiten Weltkrieg einberufen. Er wird eine Ausbildung als Funker in Armee gelernt und wird eigentlich nicht in realität gegen Nazis gekämpft. Der Kampf ist der Kampf von seines Lebens, mit Alles und gegen Alles. Er wird mit seine erste Liebe beschäftigen, mit viele anderen ersten Erfahrungen kämpfen. Von Charakter des Alans Cope hat man gefüfht, diese Lechtigkeit des Seins. Er erzählt das ganze Leben über alltäglichen Erlebnissen. Er würde nicht nur über alltägliche Erlebnissen erzählen, sondern auch über Banalitäten, die er erfuhr. Die Geschichte schreibt über der Leute, der Cope auf dem Weg, im Zug, oder zufällig an der Straße traf. Es ist interessant, die Entwicklung von verschiedenen Charakteren in ungefähr 30 Jahren zu beobachten. Das Buch ist ein beobachtender Dokumentation. Auch die Skizzen sind ausführlich skizziert, wie ist für Emanuel Guibert schon charakteristich, fehlt nicht das Foto von Charakteren des Buches.
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When I turned eighteen,

Uncle Sam said

he'd like me to put on a uniform

and go fight a guy by the name of Adolf.

So I did.

Alan Ingram Cope
Alan wanted this book to be deicated to the memory of his grandmother, Ione Ingram
I dedicate it to my parents,

Jean and Jacqueline.
First words
I met Alan Cope by chance, asking him for directions on the street. (Preface, 2007)
I remember the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Originally published in French in three volumes.  All three were united in Alan's War.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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“When I was eighteen, Uncle Sam told me he’d like me to put on a uniform and go off to fight a guy by the name of Adolf. So I did.”


When Alan Cope joined the army and went off to fight in World War II, he had no idea what he was getting into.  This graphic memoir is the story of his life during wartime, a story told with poignant intimacy and matchless artistry. 


Across a generation, a deep friendship blossomed between Alan Cope and author/artist Emmanuel Guibert. From it, Alan’s War was born – a graphic novel that is a deeply personal and moving experience, straight from the heart of the Greatest Generation – a unique piece of WWII literature and a ground-breaking graphic memoir.

[retrieved 10/27/2014 from Amazon.com]
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Memoir of an American soldier fighting in Europe in World War II, done in the style of a graphic novel.

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