By Marcelino Truong, we had already really liked “A pretty little war” and “Give Peace a chance”, two autobiographical comics, which we had already told you about here. Here he is again exploring the history of Vietnam, but this time, through fiction, always with the inimitable grace of his line, which alone succeeds in making us travel in time and space. . “Forty Men and Twelve Rifles” (Denoël Graphic) is a remarkably documented graphic novel that introduces us to another face of the Indochina War.
READ ALSO “Give Peace a chance”: the Vietnam War seen from the losing side
We follow in the footsteps of Minh, a young painter crazy about jazz and Western culture, who, returning to his village under Viet-Minh control, finds himself enlisted alongside the People’s Liberation Army.
In this trip to the end of the night, our Vietnamese Bardamu crosses paths with the horror of war, the bodies that explode or are hungry, the teenage girls of the “Shock Youths”, responsible for picking up the corpses on the battlefield or treat the wounded.
Minh was recruited by a UPA, an “Armed Propaganda Unit”, one of these battalions of artists made up of forty men (and women) supervised by twelve soldiers (the twelve rifles of the title), whose motto is “every artist is a political fighter”. It’s up to them to make the pr
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