Onward towards our noble deaths / Shigeru Mizuki
Maybe you don't think you can do manga. the odd fantasy, the forced atmosphere of adolescence, the stylized bodies. Consider this a perfect test of whether you have issues with format or style: the bleak story of the Japanese forces defending a meaningless peninsula in the final days of World War 2. A company of people, seemingly vast but dispatched as fast as you become acquainted. Trying to keep their humanity in the face of hunger and disease and predators and bombs and officers and thirst and injuries and stupidity. The line work is simply amazing. Shigeru Mizuki is a master of his craft, doing amazing things with photographic recreation and finding so many ways to make various the bullet-headed soldiers whose identity is a thin veneer on the cusp of being smeared out of existence. A truly remarkable telling of that most unremarkable story: inadequate numbers facing an impossible task. If you enjoy stories of war, try this. If you abhor stories of war, try this.