“Classic battle action from Commando Comics – 63-page illustrated comic stories of men at war.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Golly but this takes me back. I used to while away long, wet Sunday afternoons in Glasgow reading my Grampa’s Commando comics (being Glasgow, most afternoons seemed to be wet… most mornings too), and much pleasure did I get from them.

It’s not literature, but it’s good innocent fun, where the heroes are square-jawed and clear-eyed and always prevail over The Hun, The Jap or The Eyetie.

Saved From The Sea is a fine little tale of an RAF air-sea rescue unit, flying a cumbersome Supermarine Walrus flying-boat and plucking distressed airmen and sailors from the water under the very guns of the enemy. This story was first published by Commando in 1987, with artwork by the renowned Jose Maria Jorge and story by Monty Montague. The draughtsmanlike drawings are great, and Jorge really knew his aeroplanes.

His life drawing skills are … OK I suppose. Faces and expressions aren’t quite up to the standards of other Commando artists; Gordon Livingstone’s art is a well remembered example of the best of this genre. The story fills out nicely to nearly seventy black & white, 2- to 3-panel pages. It’s simple enough fare with just enough ‘plot’ to avoid falling into the ‘kill lots of Jerries and back home in time for tea and crumpets’ cliche. The exposition and dialogue is pretty corny and quite wooden, however.

A great nostalgia trip, but probably of little interest to anyone younger than, about, 40!

I bought the eBook version and it reads well enough on my 10″ and even my 7″ tablets although the page turns are a bit laggy. The artwork reproduction to electronic format is fine. It’s pretty cumbersome on my 1st generation Kindle which seems to insist on paging through each illustration and text box by turn.

Oh yes, and a doomed Italian pilot does indeed scream “aiieee!” in this one. I was most satisfied.

 

Reviewed by:

Campbell McAulay

Added 25th April 2015

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Campbell McAulay

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