Six Days: The Incredible Story of D-Day’s Lost Chapter by Robert Venditti

details
Title: Six Days: The Incredible Story of D-Day’s Lost Chapter.
Writer(s): Robert Venditti & Kevin Maurer.
Penciller(s): Andrea Mutti.
Colourist(s): Lee Loughridge.
Letterer(s): Clayton Cowles.
Publisher: Vertigo.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: May 14th 2019.
Pages: 148.
Genre(s): Comics,  Historical Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401290719.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

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During World War II, there are countless monumental events that are repeated and hammered throughout our education as quintessential components to what led to one of the most disastrous massacres in the history of mankind. Among those events is the Operation Neptune, also known as D-Day. This seaborne invasion has been reimagined and reproduced numerous times on the big screen for everyone to understand the complex, intimate and stressful period lived by soldiers and citizens alike. While the context is known by many, it is trying to understand the emotions felt throughout that stretch of a couple of days that really resonates with everyone. Not only was the future obscure to all those who were there, but it was also riddled with life-defining decisions that could lead them just about anywhere, including the grave.

What is Six Days: The Incredible Story of D-Day’s Lost Chapter about? Taking place on June 1944, right in the midst of the D-Day campaign, this graphic novel recounts the true story of a World War II battle held in the small village of Graignes, France. For the duration of six days straight, a group of American soldiers find themselves at the heart of enemy grounds and is sheltered by French citizens while knowing that such a gesture would result in death if Germans were to find out. This story revisits the combined efforts for survival of American paratroopers and French citizens as they face merciless enemies in this quiet little town. Through crystal clear understanding of humanity, this story allows readers to applaud the ingrained heroism that we all possess in us when facing the impossible.

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The first thing you notice with this graphic novel is its absence of long bubbles of dialogue and narrative. The intention behind this decision is clear from the start as Robert Venditti and Kevin Maurer wish to let the artwork speak for itself and convey the emotional weight that comes with this war. From questions of loyalty to brutality, there isn’t an instance throughout this story where the psychological state of the soldiers and the citizens aren’t discretely explored as they face incredible threats ready to assault them when they least expect it. The exploration of friendship, romance and religion are also quickly covered, while the story tries to portray the devastating battle that took place in Graignes, France. Although a happy outcome is what is wished by many, the denouement obligates us to understand that life has simply never been fair for many.

Thankfully, the artwork works wonders with the overall theme in this graphic novel. The blurry and hectic panels, especially during the action scenes, offer the readers the impression of reliving history and the complete emotional spectrum that comes with World War II. While happy moments made you smile, the terrifying moments made you dread for the lives of all those that were implicated during this event, whether they wanted to or not. The colours are also respectful of the era in which it takes place and the use of large panels allowed the artists to fully explore the repercussions and overarching doubt and misery that hovers over this era. In fact, the ragged-edged of despair is felt through the art and helped introduce all the themes that the writers wanted to incorporate in the narrative.

Six Days: The Incredible Story of D-Day’s Lost Chapter is a stunning true story of survival during the D-Day campaign told through a rare medium and with unprecedented research to support this tale.


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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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18 thoughts on “Six Days: The Incredible Story of D-Day’s Lost Chapter by Robert Venditti

  1. A poignant and wonderfully constructed review my friend – your analysis of the story is great but so is your exploration of the art, it really gave me a sense of how important it is to conveying the feel and tone of the narrative.

    I like a lot of Venditti’s work and I’m a big World War II history buff but haven’t really read any war comics like this – I’ll have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, good sir. I definitely think the artwork and the creative team decision to minimize the amount of dialogue helps to convey the story with all the intended emotions that were meant to come with it.

      Then you surely have to pick this re-release out then! You usually can’t go wrong with Vertigo comics hahah

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – this sounds like an intense way to experience a WWII story. I think that graphic novels are uniquely able to cover this highly traumatic ground in a way that is so sensory and devastating.

    Amazing review! I just finished reading my own traumatising WWII era story, but when I’m ready for another I will definitely be reaching for this. It sounds like an amazing piece of work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lydia! Yep. It’s really nice to see the medium being used artistically to explore such a story. There are plenty of WWII graphic novels that are worth checking out though. Like Maus. While it’s not real characters, its message is poignant.

      Like

  3. Amazing review! 😊 This book sounds amazing, you know I rarely read graphic novels but it sounds like the drawings are such an important part of it! It’s hard to imagine when you only read black letters on white pages! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Caroline! Oh yes. Most of the time, authors let your imagination be dictated by their writing, and it can quite powerful, but you know what the say, a picture is worth a thousand words! And when done right, it can move you just as well as black letters on white pages! 😜

      Liked by 1 person

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