This week, I wanted to take a look at a small press book that you have probably never heard of but really need to seek out and read. It is called Crecy by Warren Ellis, with art by Raulo Caceres and published by Avatar Press.
War is hell...that goes without saying and Crecy is all about war. Or at least one very pivotal battle in a greater war. Considered by many to be one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years' War, the Battle of Crecy took place in France in August of 1346. Though the French forces were more heavily armoured than the attacking Englishmen, the English held the high ground and rained death down on the slow moving Frenchmen with their powerful English longbows. Though this may not seem like the most likely use of the comic book format to tell a story, it works so well with a black and white art style that is very detailed and reflects the woodcuts of the time. We see in graphic detail how the English were able to dominate the French basically using only two fingers...the two needed to hold the arrow on the bow string. It shows how modern tactics of warfare evolved at the time and how not always the bigger army is the victory when you use the land to your advantage.
Crecy is truly a great work of graphic novelization. Informative, historically accurate, and brutal, the life of an English archer during this time in history was not an easy one, but their skill was undeniable. Written in the course language of the Longbowman, we get a front row seat to one of the first truly modern battles. Ellis does a great job with the material that is a history lesson you don't mind reading about and the art by Caceres is perfect for the subject matter and is both detailed and graphic. Though it may be hard to track down, Crecy is certainly worth the search, especially for anyone with a love for all things British.