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Johnny Red : Falcons First Flight Hardcover – 25 Feb 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (25 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848560338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848560338
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1.5 x 30.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A true classic, and a must-read.' --Comics Cavern

'If you enjoy Ennis' own war-oriented comics like Battlefields, you'll definitely want to check out Johnny Red.' --IGN.com

'Artist Colquhoun had a knack for emotively rendering both air and ground fights.' --Blog Critics

'It deals with the desperate plight of the Russian military and people very, very realistically. The writers researched the war extensively, and it shows.' --Geek Six

'This book feels like a historical document and yet reads like the best of any boy's fiction in any genre. Buy this book and enjoy the authenticity amidst the thrills.' --Weekly Crisis

About the Author

Tom Tully is a British comics writer who has worked on countless strips including The Steel Claw, Kelly's Eye, Heros the Spartan, Dan Dare, Roy of the Rovers and Johnny Red, which he co-created with Joe Colquhoun.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Roberts on 29 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a boy, three comic stories really gripped my imagination: The Tough of the Track, Charley's War and Johnny Red. Charley's War is rightly regarded as a classic. However, for me, Johnny Red was the first story to reflect the savage nature of war, conveying the desperate and often horrific nature of Russia's fight for survival in the early years of World War Two.

My appreciation of the gritty and historically accurate portrayal of conflict seen in Johnny Red may be based on hindsight. At the time I first read Johnny Red, the story was (and remains) simply a cracking read, packed with action and founded on the well-paced and interesting story of a working class British pilot - Johnny Redburn - fighting with the Red Air Force in defence of the Soviet Union. The story is also founded on the brilliant artwork of two of the UK's best comic artists; Joe Colquhoun and John Cooper (John Cooper took over illustrating Johnny Red after Colquhoun had moved onto drawing Charley's War). Colquhoun drew the instalments of Johnny Red found in this volume; I'm looking forward to seeing some of John Cooper's work in future volumes.

One of the real pleasures of this first volume of Johnny Red is looking at the level of detail in Colquhoun's drawings. Since reading the story, I have re-read several parts just to admire the artwork. It's a real tribute to Colquhoun that he was able to create such beautiful illustrations, on a weekly basis, for so many years.

I hope that Titan will release more of Johnny Red. The story deserves to become as successful as the re-printed Charley's War. I recommend this volume without reservation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here at last, in a large and sturdy hardcover edition, are the early exploits of Johnny 'Red' Redburn, from the pages of Battle Picture Weekly.

For the uninitiated [you doubtless aren't if you're reading this, but just in case] Battle Picture Weekly was a weekly british comic that launched in 1975. Along with the earlier Action and the later 2000ad, it broke the mould of British boy's comics, because they all told stories that were grimmer and gritter and more action packed a little bit more serious and grown up than comics had ever done before.

Johnny Red, which went on to run for ten years before the title went over to reprinting earlier parts, was the tale of Johnny Redburn. A nineteen year old who grew up in the back streets of Liverpool, he was dishonourably discharged from the RAF in 1941 after being wrongly accused of striking a superior officer. Desperate to do his bit for the war effort regardless, the only way he could get back in was as a galley hand on a merchant ship, which is part of an arctic convoy to russia at the start of the first part.

When the pilot of the hurricane that is due to be launched from the ship to defend the convoy is taken out of action, Johnny seizes his chance, and one baptism of fire later, he's shooting down nazi planes. But with nowhere to land back with the convoy, and facing awkward questions if he does, his only option is to try and land in Russia. Landing at the home base of a Russian squadron called the Falcons, who are downbeaten and have been written off by their command and are seemingly doomed, Johnny has found his war at last. And the legend of Johnny Red, the English pilot who fights with the Russians, is about to begin....

Battle was a weekly comic, and every story had just three pages a week.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve Blease on 30 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was 11 when Johnny Red burst into Battle comic and immediately it became by favourite strip and continued to be so until Charley's War usurped it (though initially I was gutted Joe Colquhoun had switched to another story!)

Thirty plus years later it is great to re-read the first stories. Colquhoun's artwork is amazing and he captures the horror and barbarity of the Eastern Front equally as well as the trench warfare of the Western Front in Charley's War. What surprises me though is Tom Tully's writing. Pat Mills is rightly lauded as a comic writer extraordinaire but Tully is no slouch and pushes all the right buttons and levels of excitement. In the days of Play Stations and satellite TV I still think that stories like this can capture a child's imagination and start them reading (let's bury any prejudices about "war stories" and "comics" eh?)

Highly recommended, buy one for yourselfl and one for a younger relative! Hopefully Titan will print more volumes in due course...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandman on 4 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the story Joe Colquhoun was working on before he moved across to create the brilliant Charley's War with Pat Mills. While Tom Tully's writing doesn't quite match that classic, the art is equally magnificent: grim scenes of battle and destruction, ruined cityscapes, numerous different types of aircraft, ships, tanks, trucks, armaments, a frozen and hazardous world .... all depicted with effortless ease (though I suspect it was far from effortless: Joe was a perfectionist as well as naturally talented). He could apparently turn out one fantastic page after another, and his standards never really dropped.

The story is engaging enough too, with a sympathetic but flawed hero, odious villains, interesting characters and frequent cliff hangers, though the hero leads a charmed life, and anyone who has him in their sights usually ends up being shot or blown up just before they can pull the trigger! It is interesting to see the suffering and struggle of the Soviets during WW2 portrayed in such a sympathetic light as well. Tully clearly put in plenty of time researching the history of a perhaps under-acknowledged conflict.

In among the Marvels and DCs I read while growing up in the sixties, I used to enjoy various British comics as well. They never credited artists by name, but you could obviously still tell one's style from another, and just about my favourite was whoever it was who drew Roy of the Rovers, Football Family Robinson and a few others. I never knew who it was, but this art was always easy on the eye, technically accurate, exciting and consistent. As I didn't read Battle when it came out, I missed out on Johnny Red and Charley's War for many years: until the latter was reprinted in the Judge Dredd Megazine a few years ago.
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