06. Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer

Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer (Canada) - (US)
The Crogan Adventures, Vol. 2

Pages: 208
Ages: 13+
Finished: Jan. 7, 2011
First Published: Feb. 3, 2010
Publisher: Oni Press
Genre: YA, historical fiction, graphic novel
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Mom! Mom!

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series. This was a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels was required reading for me. The panelists did not receive a review copy from the publisher and like most other panelists, I, unfortunately, was unable to find a copy before our nominations were due. My copy from Interlibrary Loan request had just now come in.

Set within the framework of the modern day Crogan family, the father tells the patriarchal story of a fellow Crogan ancestor from the past. This book is about Peter Crogan, Legionnaire, circa 1912. An action packed story of a man within the French Foreign Legion and the fellow soldiers he meets and bonds with in various ways. Also explores his feelings for the locals whom they are there to protect and the Tuareg, who are fighting against them, along with the other soldiers' opinions. Peter is an average guy. We don't know exactly why he's in the FFL, but do know it was to get away from something and to start over, like many others who joined the Foreign Legion. Crogan doesn't seem to be any different than the others, he doesn't look different or act different but gradually as the story progresses we can see that Crogan has a conscience. He regrets certain actions and decisions he's made and he soon starts making decisions based on his conscience and we have an unlikely hero in the making.

The story is full of action and adventure. Being lost in a sandstorm, battles galore, trapped inside the depths of a cave and being captured by the enemy for public decapitation in the morning. Yes, there is no lack of excitement. But there are also moments of pathos. Crogan first gets choked up when one of his buddies is the only one not to survive the sandstorm while others are only grateful the casualties were so few. Crogan realizes some truths in several poignant moments and there are two especially sad moments towards the end of the book.

I can't say the artwork is anything special for me. It's typical b/w cartoony drawing, well done. I really liked Vol. 1 but I adored this Volume. I think the story had so much depth and I must admit it my enjoyment may be due, in part, to my love of French Foreign Legion stories, from when I first saw Laurel and Hardy join the FFL to other old b/w movies to the awesome book "Beau Geste" by P.C. Wren. Looking forward to Volume 3 which from the cover picture at the end of the book looks like it will be about the Revolutionary War.


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