Alan's War by Emmanuel Guibert

Alan's War

?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 Cop...

Details Alan's War

TitleAlan's War
Release DateOct 28th, 2008
PublisherFirst Second
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, History, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, War, World War II

Reviews Alan's War

  • Melki
    The first half of this book deals with Alan Cope's experiences serving in a tank during WWII. It reminded me of Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 by John P. Irwin, though I think on the whole, Irwin's book is much better. I enjoyed Cope's adventures in basic training, and though his combat exploits are not very exciting - he gets a Purple Heart (for falling off a ladder!) - I found them interesting.Th...
  • John
    The French graphic artist met the expatriate Alan Cope by chance, and was so captivated by his World War II experiences that he produced a rather substantial graphic biography of the man, with a second volume to follow about Alan's childhood. It's unusual to read even a partial life of someone who has no automatic claim to our interest — even his war adventures are, for the most part, rather mundane — apart from the quality of his storytellin...
  • Seth T.
    One of the biggest hurdles of autobiography and memoir is that by virtue of the author’s life not being complete, the character portrayed must be a fiction. The author’s avatar is a fiction because the author, not having a perspective outside himself, has not really the ability to determine plot and direction and who his character actually is or will be. Because a reader is primarily prompted to read biographical non-fiction for its interacti...
  • Licha
    Artwork: Superb. It’s my favorite thing about this book. A lot of these illustrations look like photographs out of focus or as if they were 3D. That being said, it also makes for an impersonal graphic account of Alan’s story. As beautiful as the artwork is, you never get a sense of who Alan is. You don’t get those facial expressions to convey what’s going on at that particular moment. This really is more like sitting down with an older pe...
  • Steve
    Written and Illustrated by Emmanuel, this graphic memoir reads like you are sitting and talking to an old uncle about his life. Cope, a WWII vet, tells of his experience in the service during WWII and his life after the war. The black and white illustrations are beautiful and really help tell the story, giving you a feel for the people and places which pass through Cope's life. That is what it feels like too, Cope is just passing through life, he...
  • Andrés Santiago
    This is a wonderful book. The English edition compiles the three volumes of the original French, which were written years apart. Books 1 & 2 focus on the young Alan being sent to fight in Europe. Book 3 is about the post-war years and all the relationships he formed over the years. This is a very wordy graphic novel, reading like a monologue. Alan is a deeply observant and sensitive young man and we can't help but identify with his experiences an...
  • David Schaafsma
    A memoir of Alan Cope's experience as a soldier in WW II in Europe, illustrated by amazingly talented artist Emmanuel Guibert, who elevates and honors a common man's simple, mostly joyful life. Likeable guy, unremarkable, not sensational in the least, with no accounts of great battles, only the every day away from the front, mostly positive experiences which led him to keep connected with the military after the war. If you like stories of Macbeth...
  • Alain
    I've just finished reading (and re-reading a bit also) Alan's war, in its original French edition. It's a great piece of work, being both Art and documentary. When you know the second world war and you've enjoyed the great novels that satirize it (by Evelyn Waugh and many others) by staying close to the truth, you can probably laugh through the first two thirds of this book. It isn't meant to be a satire, but it points out the absurdities of war ...
  • Chris
    Eh. The first half was quite interesting. I would rate that as probably 4 stars, no question. It details Cope's time as an armored car driver in the last couple years of WWII. He apparently saw no combat, which isn't a big deal, since MANY soldiers saw no combat. He served mostly in the occupying forces in southern Germany and Czechoslovakia. An interesting look into military life, and all the usual soldierly hijinks.But yeah. Then he left the se...
  • Nicola Mansfield
    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...
  • Adam Shields
    Short Review: This is my year of graphic novels. I have been really enjoying how the graphic novel can tell a story in a different way. This was a recommendation from Seth Hahne (blogger responsible for the incredible graphic novel review blog ). Alan's War is the story of Alan Cope, a US soldier in World War II as told to the artist and author of the book. Roughly half of the book is Cope's story from being drafted and train...
  • Paul
    Generally when there is a book taking place during World War II it is a book about World War II, however Alan’s war proves this doesn’t have to be the case. Alan is a soldier during World War II who never sees combat and barely has any direct influence on the war efforts. It may seem like a waste of time to show Alan’s life when it could be about the actual war, however because the book doesn’t focus on the war the reader is able to see t...
  • Steve
    Alright. I really enjoyed the graphic novel presentation of this type of story. The artist does an excellent job of grabbing emotion with pen and ink. But like many other reviews, I perhaps had higher expectations. There's an M8 Greyhound on the front, I expected perhaps more of a war story. And Alan Cope's war story is in there, but it was rather anti-climactic. As was the whole story. What, exactly, was "Alan's War"? He wasn't really fighting a...
  • Michele
    It's remarkable how boring WWII can be when you spend 300+ pages memorializing the experiences of a GI who saw no combat, saw very little suffering or death, and spent most of his time fraternizing with civilians. He seems to be clueless about the consequences of the war, the war crimes committed, the nazis, etc. He doesn't seem to be curious about Germany or the war itself. He disobeys orders and fraternizes with enemies because they feed him go...
  • Lars Guthrie
    Don't be looking for a 'Combat' comic book, even though it's a comic book and even though it's about World War II. Most war stories probably don't fit the standard narrative (mine didn't) and Alan Cope's war story is almost peripheral, except that it is the genesis for a voyage of self-discovery that touches on gypsies, Henry Miller, and fundamentalist Christianity. The book's soul is Gerhard Muensch, a forgotten classical pianist and composer, w...
  • Bob
    Unless you count illustrated classic comic books, this was my first graphic book (non-fiction or otherwise) and I loved it. A whole different experience in reading. And having been locked into digital, it gave me a renewed interest in picking up another print. Can't say the subject matter was all that exciting, though. It's just that Alan's life was interesting in a way that I think my own life could be interesting if told in an interesting way.
  • Robin
    This is an amazing book! I finished this title a week before my NELA presentation so I didn't write anything more about this book but when just now I checked over my list of books that I read and saw that I never expanded on my initial thoughts after I finished reading the book. It's an amazing book because we get to experience World War II in a very different way because we follow Alan's experience as he trains to serve in the Army overseas.
  • Zheng
  • Felipe Assis
    Há pontos bacanas nessa graphic, lembrou a "a arte de voar" em alguns momentos, "retalhos" em outros, mas certamente está abaixo das citadas.A primeira coisa que me chamou a atenção digamos negativamente foi a irregularidade da arte, vc percebe claaaaramente que o autor meio que estava com preguiça em determinados momentos e deu umas aceleradas (ele deveria ter prazos ou algo do tipo), há cenas incríveis usando só o preto hiper detalhadas...
  • Michael
    Wonderful book. Guibert met Alan Cope, an ex-pat American WWII vet in 1995, and the two became good friends. After hearing Cope's stories about his life, Guibert realized that his friend's life was amazing and would make a great biography, so he recorded tape after tape of Cope's stories and illustrated them. The artwork is all done in inkwash, with a little photography mixed in, which suits the haziness of memory, and Cope's narrative voice is v...
  • Nate
    This book begins with Alan Cope being drafted during WWII and his following experiences throughout the remainder of the war This takes up about 2/3 of the book. His experience during the war is not one filled with fighting and physical danger, but still is adventurous in ways.The last part of the book shifts from his experience in the war to a personal conflict of self discovery. This was not the kind of war story I expected, but I still found it...
  • Kay
    Another reader used the word "impersonal" to describe this graphic autobiography/biography of Alan Cope and I have to agree. The interview style/story and Alan's voice recalling his memories reads so blandly off the page. I wanted to like the b/w art work, but was distracted a lot by the blinding white space. The script was flat and the art was somehow even flatter.
  • Adam Johnson
    I didn't enjoy this one as much as How the World Was but there were some interesting stories thrown in here. These books are a random assortment of historical snapshots that allowed me to experience a brief moment of the past that felt very personal.
  • Angela
    The book was great and I loved that it was actually a soldier's experience. Easy to read and the graphic novel style makes it even easier to read. I'm considering using this in my high school English classes when teaching nonfiction graphic novels.
  • Emily
  • Romain
    La guerre d'Alan est la retranscription en bande dessinée du récit d'Alan Ingram Cope un jeune soldat de l'armée des Etats-Unis pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale. Ce travail a été réalisé par Emmanuel Guibert à qui l'on doit notamment la très bonne série Le Photographe.Le dessin est simple, beau et épuré fait de traits proches de la ligne claire peints au lavis sépia. Cette technique, en plus de donner un résultat magnifique, pro...
  • Lisa Shamchuk
    I found the half about his life as a WWII soldier very interesting, but the last half about his life didn't quite live up to the rest.
  • IGS
    Tankers with classEmmanuel Guibert, Hist-non fic, Graphic novel Published, October 28th 2008 by First Second (first published 2000), Paperback, 336 pages,isbn1596430966 (isbn13: 9781596430969) "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 good graphic novel is hard to come by. So Alan’s war is a hidden gem. Originally written in French it gives a European fe...
  • Zac
    This was another amazing biography by Guibert. I'm not usually drawn to war stories but I really liked Guibert's 'The Photographer' so I thought I'd give this a go. Cope's time in WWII probably took up the first half of the book at least, but it was a narrative I hadn't really encountered before, which largely depicted the US Army in that period as being pretty disorganised. Cope arrives in Europe at the very end of the war so doesn't really have...
  • Josephus FromPlacitas
    Sweet Jesus was this ever a beautiful book -- just perfect figures, landscapes, buildings, vehicles, incredible watercolor washes and photographic overlays and tracings. It was bliss to read. I wish I could come one inch close to making black ink sing and dance like this.It was really interesting how un-typically American the story of Alan's life was, the narrative of a physically small man, alienated from his emotionally cold California family, ...