Back in the 1970’s there was Battle Picture Weekly, a British war series comic that featured the very popular Johnny Red! Johnny Red was created by artist Joe Colquhoun and Tom Tully and told the tale of Johnny “Red” Redburn! A disgraced R.A.F. pilot flying with the 5th Soviet Air Brigades Falcon squadron! Now out through Titan Books are the reprinted collections of these stories. Volume three (the one I read) finds Johnny in the middle of 1942 Stalingrad! There he fights Nazis along side the Falcons and an all girl squadron called The Angels of Death!
Though the book tales the story of World War II pilots, it’s art and story form are very much of a 1970’s style. All done in black and white, there is a sort of near realistic vibe to the art work that let’s the reader imagine a dirty – gory – war torn Stalingrad. At times I felt too much was being drawn into each panel. This often lead to a little confusion as to what was happening in the story, but each panel also has a special energy that made me imagine the roar of aircraft engines and explosion of bombs. The story it self is formulaic at times, but the story lines surrounding the Angels of Death and their little “Chaikas” bi-planes seem to break free a little bit more and are very enjoyable. What with a very fine introduction by Garth Ennis and the brilliant illustration work of Joe Colquhoun I’d say this book is perfect for fans of both modern and silver age comics alike! Get your own copy of Johnny Red; Angles Over Stalingrad online at Titan Books or at your local book sellers! Check out some sample images from the book below!