Thursday, December 04, 2008

Against All Odds: War Picture Library Vol. 2

OUT NOW! Published by Prion Books on 4 August 2008. This is the follow-up to Unleash Hell (5.0 out of 5 that came out last September. A dozen great stories from the early years of War Picture Library when it was at its best. Gripping stories by the likes of Donne Avenell, Willie Patterson and Ian Kellie and artwork by some of the finest European, South American and British artists at work in the early 1960s, including Nevio Zeccara, Juan Gonzalez Alacreu, Jorge Moliterni, Jose Ortiz and Solano Lopez. The second volume, like the first, is made up of a mixture of air, land and sea-based stories.

Order you copy via

ISBN: 978-1853756610


Finest Hour (WPL 175, Dec 1962), Art: Giorgio Trevisan; Script: S & J Thomas
The Troubled Sea (WPL 117, Oct 1961) Art: Harry Farrugia; Script: (unknown)
Foxhole Glory (WPL 170, Nov 1962) Art: George Heath; Script: Donne Avenell
The Thin Blue Line (WPL 96, May 1961) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: (unknown)
Strike Squadron (WPL 84, Feb 1961) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: Ian Kellie
Banzai (WPL 80, Jan 1961) Art: Annibale Casabianca; Script: Douglas Leach
Road From Tobruk (WPL 154, Jul 1962) Art: Juan Gonzalez Alacreu; Script: (unknown)
Up Periscope (WPL 10, Jan 1959) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: Alf Wallace
Rogue Lancaster (WPL 181, Feb 1963) Art: F. Solano Lopez; Script: Willie Patterson
Paratroop (WPL 158, Aug 1962) Art: Jorge Moliterni; Script: Donne Avenell
The Valley of Death (WPL 120, Nov 1961) Art: Jose Ortiz; Script: (unknown)
Snarl of Battle (WPL 162, Sep 1962) Art: Ramon de la Fuente; Script: Donne Avenell

Further information and details can be found in our book The Fleetway Picture Library Index Vol. 1: The War Libraries.


In September 1958, Britain's children thrilled to the first issue of War Picture Library, where they could read of the valiant struggle of a motley group of British soldiers from the British Expeditionary Force whose units were overwhelmed by German forces swarming through the frontiers of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. "Fight Back to Dunkirk" was a page-turner of the first order, a shilling shocker that grabbed your attention for 64 explosive pages. The good news was, when you'd finished, there was another one waiting on the spinners at the newsagents. Over the coming months and years, War Picture Library revealed to its young (and sometimes not-so-young) readers just what their fathers and uncles had been through in combat. The diversity of characters and breadth of locations available, from the home front to the steaming jungles, meant that there was something new for readers every month. Fifty years on, the stories still have the power to thrill and horrify us.

Against All Odds is a carefully selected collection of some of the most amazing war stories and striking war art ever produced, reproduced 25 per cent bigger than the originals so you can feel every bullet hit, every crashing wave and every nerve-shattering explosion. This is military history as you've never read it before.


Full-bleed cover, front and back


"Yes men of a certain age (I don't think many girls read these or the Commando books) will know what to expect here and wallow in the nostalgia ... I was regaling my son only a couple of weeks ago of how I would wait for the War and Battle picture libraries Summer specials to take on holidays and how they would hold me enthralled for hours and of course we all were able to go out and fight pretend battles of our own ... Ah those were the days....and by the way my son loves these as well. Achtung Schweinhund! indeed." 5.0 out of 5 stars


  1. Love the cover to Against all odds and with the likes of Jose Ortiz (who did great stuff for Eagle in the 80's) and Solano Lopez in it its a must have.

    I'm going to order it along with the latest commando's, the Western book your editing, best of 2000ad, best of battle (lots of johnny red hopefully!), the eagle cutaways book and some others at the start of October when they're all projected to be out.

    I can't freakin wait to be honest, its great to see all this material coming out at long last. I started reading comics at the start of the 80's when british comics had started to decline (even though as a youngfella I didn't know that at the time) so its nice to see familiar stuff come out and even better to see a lot of work for the very first time.

  2. There's a really good crop of books coming out over the next couple of months. I'm looking forward to seeing the end results of all the work I put into my own books but there's plenty more that I'm looking forward to seeing. The Commando volume will be a must, it'll be interesting to see what someone has decided is the best of 2000AD, Titan have some good books on the way, Paul Gravett's got a new book coming out...

    A few years ago we were all moaning about the lack of reprints. Now there's a huge choice. Get it while you can... with paper prices and costs soaring the bubble, while it won't burst, is likely to shrink in 2009.

  3. The best of 2000ad is one I'll get just for the sake of it having gotten twoth for the last 22 years (bar 4 or 5 years in the 90's) and lots of reprint I don't hold our much hope of seeing much thats new or radical. Still hopefully it'll sell well and encourage some former squaxx to start getting the weekly again.

    Other best ofs I'd like to see would be Warlord, Hotspur and Lion and a Starhawk collection wouldn't go amiss.

    And since it only lasted about 13 issues, "The Complete Scream" would be a nice size for a trade, great comic it was too.

    One book that I got a few years ago that definitely deserves a reprint is "Action - The story of a violent comic" by Martin Barker.



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