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War Picture Library: Unleash Hell Hardcover – 3 Sep 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 776 pages
  • Publisher: Prion Books Ltd (3 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853756296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853756290
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 6 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Steve Holland is the author of over 1,000 articles and a dozen books relating to comics and pulp culture, including The Trials of Hank Janson, nominated for the Silver Dagger Award by the Crime Writers Association. His latest book, The War Libraries Index charts the extraordinary history of Fleetway's war picture libraries.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Following in the wake of the considerable success of the Commando collections, this door stop of a book reprises 12 of the best stories to appear in what was the grandaddy of all the war pocket libraries. Fleetway's War Picture Library first hit newstands in 1958 and was the comic that spawned a host of sister publications, Battle and Air Ace Picture Library being the foremost as well as many imitators from rival publishers of which the aforementioned Commando Library from rival publisher D.C. Thomson was the undoubted leader.

This handsome looking book clad in covers with punchy graphics and elements of some of the original cover paintings, is in many ways superior to the Commando collections. The Commando collections are primarily dominated by stories that appeared from the 1970's onwards, they're earlier and infinitely more lurid stories are conspicuous by their abscence. Not so with Holland's selection. He adroitly goes for the earliest issues which were by and large written by men who had direct and (self evidently} fairly recent experience of active service during the Second World War, consequently the stories are much more non PC, "Huns" and "Japs" are a ruthless enemy to be despatched with cold efficiency and there's not an awful lot of agonising on either side over the dehumanising effect of war, these guys mean business and the stories have a consequential drive and dynamic that make reading this collection a really vivid and engaging experience.

The artwork is similarly powerful and throws you right into the streets of war torn Arnhem, the fetid jungles of Burma, the E-Boat infested water of the English Channel or the flak torn skies over the Ruhr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many years ago, WWII was a very real memory for my parents, and a frame of reference for my view of the world. In the absence of a formal history taught in schools, War Picture Library gave me - and thousands of other 1960s schoolboys - a unique insight into events which our parents, aunts and uncles had experienced at first-hand. As an educational tool - despite being frowned upon by school authorities - they proved invaluable. They were released each month as separate stories (one to each 64-page booklet), and were written by people with genuine knowledge of the subject matter - many having served in the Armed Forces during WWII. The artwork was superb, and illustrated the stories in a way guaranteed to fire a boy's imagination. The fact that many of the stories were based on actual incidents and operations during the war, made them doubly fascinating. I must confess my bewilderment that nobody - even in the heat of battle - ever swore in a WPL story (soldiers being what they are). Ah well - that was censorship in the 1960s. (YouTube footage from Afghanistan gives us a clearer picture of what soldiers really sound like when under fire.) But, as a potted history of WWII - starting at Vol 1 with the retreat to Dunkirk - WPL was excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting many of my favourite stories from decades ago.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Im at an age where im returning to my youth. These are all great storys although some of the drawings have lost their sharpness because of copying problems from source. Its a must buy though.I aim to collect all these reprints. How i wish id kept all the originals from my youth ! £££
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am 62 years old and these books take me back over 50 years when I was an avid collector of War Picture Library, Battle, and Commando comics. I have always regretted giving the old comics away when I grew up. Once you read one, you are addicted.
William Davies
Slough
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Format: Hardcover
My enjoyment of these stories was somewhat spoilt by 16 pages missing from the story "Umbrella In The Sky".
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