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A letter to Jo - by Joseph Sieracki and Kelly Williams


A letter to Jo is the “True story” of a man’s journey through war, to get back to his betrothed in America. The story is based on a letter sent from the soldier to his sweetheart after censorship had been lifted due to the end of the war. Whilst the characters in the graphic novel have largely been invented by the author to represent people that could have been with the soldier, the situations the soldier found himself in are accurate in that the author has researched battles and troop movements in the various areas the letter describes, at the time the letter indicates.

That’s all well and good, but how does it read? And how does it look? The story itself is – O.K. The confines of the letter don’t really allow for extremes or too much free reign on what happened to the soldier, so honestly, it was O.K. but it’s not going to keep you awake at night wanting to turn one more page. I thought the inclusion of the real letter in the back of the book was a nice touch, as were the photographs of the real people the book describes, and the artist's character sketches based on those photos.

The artwork is – good. I think. And it’s not easy to really decide. On the one hand, the battle sequences are rough – lines to depict flying bullets – a wash of colors, sometimes it’s hard to see any detail because that is what the picture is showing, the chaos of battle. So it works, but it also makes it hard to rave about the artwork. It says a lot that the artwork is the main draw here, the story itself lacks some action – somewhat, and were it not for the visuals backing the story up, I’m not sure the story could stand alone.

Nevertheless, it’s still a good combination, and the fact that this is a “true” story deserves some credibility.

Overall, I think this is worth 3 ⭐ ‘s out of 5.


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