GRAPHIC NOVELS

Churchill: A Graphic Biography

Dead Reckoning: Naval Inst. Apr. 2020. 120p. ISBN 9781682475287. pap. $19.95. Rated: Teens+. BIOG
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“The most adventurous life in the history of British politics,” declares historian Andrew Roberts (Churchill: Walking with Destiny) in his foreword. “[T]he only man who was familiar with war, could manage it, enjoy it, and perhaps go on to win it,” writes script writer Delmas (Charlemagne) in his meaty introduction. From the young boy’s fascination with toy soldiers to the master—if blemished—statesman’s gifts to his country and the free world, Winston Churchill’s (1874–1965) idiosyncratic life plays out in panoramic sweeps intercut with piquant details. Vaulting a wall to escape a South African prison, meeting with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt while bathing, sorrowing at his “most hateful” decision to destroy the French fleet all culminate in the former British prime minister’s 1945 triumph over Adolf Hitler. His remaining life is omitted, however. The lovely, realistic color art from Regnault, Alessio Cammardella, and Allessia Nocera suggests Prince Valiant reenvisioned in a Downton Abbey world. Beyond the 1,000-plus biographies already penned about Churchill, this first graphic novel does him more than justice.
VERDICT Complex enough for adults seeking entrée into the Churchill mystique while also great reading for historically minded teens down through middle-schoolers.

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