Guerillas Book 1 by Brahm Revel

Posted by ron On March - 27 - 2011

Undeniably almost every Vietnam movie or story ever made seems to continuously subscribe to a nihilist rite of passage for American soldiers who go from boys to men in one tour of duty. Hopefully Hollywood can uncover this gold mine of originality that is very accessible to new and old readers of comic books.

Brahm Revel’s Guerillas began conventionally as a cliche’ band of brothers but quickly made an unconventional plot twist that invoked cinema based themes in Platoon and the Island of Doctor Moreau. Disillusioned John Francis Clayton, the book’s main protagonist, was drafted into a war that he quickly wanted no part in. War may not be fit for man but beast as Clayton was saved by trained guerillas gone rogue. Clayton discovered his new found Ape platoon to be more humane than the one he lost in a fire fight. It seemed clear that animals are far more proficient killers and Mr. Revel didn’t hesitate in how men and ape aren’t inherently evil but both are trained as killers. As the story progressed their advantageous ability to nurture shined through the chaos and killing. Perhaps Mr. Revel was trying to say we could learn a lot about the way animals behave and maybe their code of acceptance isn’t defined by race or species but naivety.

As a story board artist for the Venture Brothers, Mr. Revel’s visual language never failed to be clear and effective in pushing the story forward even when dialogue was absent. Much like the Venture Brothers he balanced the darker violent components with equally lighter moments such as using a soldier man’s love for cigarettes to cleverly articulate monkey see, monkey do humor.

Guerillas is a book about survival, coming of age, and most importantly acceptance. We all want to be on the same side but for whatever reason, we can’t accept each other for who we are. If animals can live with man, why can’t we accept each other? Perhaps human beings suffer from a rare gene that animals have. It’s called common sense.

If I had to rate Guerillas, I’d give it a refreshing after work beer that is familiar and yet something to look forward to. Cheers.

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