“Joe Kubert has established an unsurpassed standard of art and story in comics. His work belongs on everyone’s bookshelf”
"Kubert's straightforward, heartfelt portrayal of the Nazi era's horrors . . . has its own undeniable power."
"Every so often, one of the masters of the comics medium will release a project which reminds the entire industry and beyond of both their vitality as well as the power the medium holds. Joe Kubert's YOSSEL is just that."
“The economy and style of its draftsmanship puts its visual side near the rank of Will Eisner’s finest later work.”
"DONG XOAI, Vietnam 1965 is such a powerful book due, not only to the story, but also to the way that Kubert tells it. It feels less like a graphic novel and more like a journalist's notebook, providing a riveting minute-by-minute account of what these soldiers were going through. That gritty realism is the effect Kubert was striving for.”
Kubert’s art from DONG XOAI graces the cover of the May/June issue of VETERAN, the publication of the Vietnam Veterans of America and there’s lots more inside.
Three of legendary author/artist Joe Kubert’s most compelling works will be available in paperback this May. If you haven’t experienced his work before, now is the perfect time to give it a try.
Here’s what Joe himself has to say, "I'm thrilled that 3 books I'd written and drawn and were published in the past are being republished currently. YOSSEL, JEW GANGSTER and DONG XOAI should not be listed as 'comic books,' because that would be a misnomer. As a friend stated in a recent discussion we were having about today's narrative art and graphic novels, "There are no boundaries anymore, only the horizon."
Back in the 1970’s, DC war comics like SGT ROCK started quietly featuring a slug at the end of the issue that read “MAKE WAR NO MORE.” It was a simple and honest appeal on the part of the creators and the company to a nation still trying to heal itself from the wounds of The Vietnam War.
DC has had a long tradition of publishing war comics right up to the present day as evidenced recently by Joe Kubert’s DONG XOAI - VIETNAM 1965, DMZ, UNKNOWN SOLDIER, recent issues of SCALPED and more. And while these comics are often action-packed, adventure stories, there’s always been a strong message that war has a horrible – and too high -- price. It takes a heart-breaking toll on all of us – the civilian and the soldier alike.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those men and women who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in battle. In that spirit, I’d ask you to take a moment away from your picnics and parties to reflect on what this day really means and work towards a day when war is just a distant memory of a more uncivilized time.
Until that day...MAKE WAR NO MORE.
-- will dennis
Now here's an excerpt from DONG XOAI, Vietnam 1965 by Joe Kubert (The Joe Kubert Library):
DONG XOAI has received wonderful reviews from the likes of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, THE RECORD, THE ONION/AV Club, THE OKLAHOMA GAZETTE, to BLOG@NEWSARAMA, and it's been chosen as IFANBOY's Book of the Month. And features with Joe Kubert have appeared in the LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, CBR, and GRAPHIC NOVEL REPORTER with more to come! You can also listen to Joe Kubert discuss the book on IFANBOY's Talksplode.
As for SCALPED #38, this stand alone issue features a flashback with a surprise main character – one whose legacy looms large in the world of SCALPED, but whose story has never been told...until now. Pick up a copy on May 26th.
Both are perfect for Memorial Day reading!
Kubert's Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 Chronicles Military Heroism
The creator of Sgt. Rock recreates a real and horrific battle from the Vietnam War
by Steve Bunche -- Publishers Weekly
Joe Kubert, one of the grandmasters of the comics field and the legendary creative force behind such classic comics as Sgt. Rock and Tor, has teamed with Vertigo to publish Dong Xaoi, Vietnam 1965, a hardcover graphic novel set during the Vietnam War, in May.
A fictionalized account of an early, horrific battle during the Vietnam conflict, Kubert's new and impressive work chronicles the dogged heroism of a squad of underequipped, undermanned U.S. Special Forces soldiers as they attempt to hold a strategically vital compound from a Viet Cong assault. The story captures the experiences of the solders and those of the native Montagnard villagers as they face a hellish bedlam of mortar bombardments.
While certainly no stranger to narratives involving warfare, Kubert's particular take on the subject is notable for its emphasis on the humanity of the combatants involved, reminding us that soldiers are ordinary men who are tested under the most extreme conditions. Kubert's war stories do not glorify violence and killing, but rather they place his readers side by side with his protagonists, fully immersing them in the tense "now" of combat.
In the case of Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965, Kubert drew inspiration from firsthand information provided by the surviving members of Special Forces Detachment A-342, 5thSpecial Forces Group. In November 1967 Kubert furnished illustrations for a series of articles for The Chicago Tribune and New York News Syndicate that coincided with Veterans Day. Decades later, Kubert was contacted by Colonel Bill Stokes, one of the survivors of the battle at Dong Xoai, who sought to obtain one of the artist's illustrations from the articles; in particular a drawing depicting two of his fellow Special Forces operatives carrying him to safety as the Viet Cong attacked their compound.
The original art had been lost so Kubert agreed to redraw the illustration. But after conversations with Stokes and seeing a comprehensive 35-page document compiled by the surviving members of Detachment A-342 (which is included as back material in the graphic novel), Kubert knew he wanted to create a graphic novel documenting their experiences. "What I heard from Col. Stokes and read in that document moved me to drive down to North Carolina to see him and tell him I intended to do a graphic novel based on his experiences. I told him that this was something I just had to do," Kubert said.
Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 tells the story of Detachment A-342's assignment to the title location, a strategically critical position due to its proximity to several roads that intersect near it. Those roads move men and materials between war zones, and as such were ripe for an inevitable attack from hostile forces. Detachment A-342's task was to serve as advisors and train the Montagnards to defend against possible encroachment by the Viet Cong, and over time they came to care for their local charges. When the V.C. finally do attack, the American soldiers fight with an entrenched concern for the Montagnards, despite being underequipped and outmanned by the enemy. Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 offers the reader a tense account of ordinary men caught up in a waking nightmare while attempting to offer assistance to a people in genuine need, and solidly respects those it depicts.
Vertigo publicist Pamela Mullin said the book is being published to coincide with the anniversary of the original battle. Mullin said the house will have preview of pages from the book ready just prior to publication and, "we're reaching out to military publications as well as National press outlets. With Memorial Day coming we expect a variety of significant media attention throughout the month of May."
Kubert's work on Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 displays his characteristic attention to detail and realism. Working from photographic reference material obtained from Col. Stokes, Kubert captures the atmosphere of the narrative with a level of verisimilitude that verges on the documentary. The dialogue reads as though spoken rather than scripted and the illustrations are reproduced directly from Kubert's pencils, their sketched quality serving to heighten the work's realistic character.
"I worked in pencil because the story lent itself to a more spontaneous look," Kubert says," and with the dialogue, the stuff Stokes related was so real to me that I tried to adhere to whatever he told me. Overall, I tried best to convey the credibility and reality of what happened. These things that seemed totally impossible actually happened and it all deserves to be remembered."
To see the article at PUBLISHERS WEEKLY click here.