WORLD WAR MOB: More Robert Aldrich than Stan Lee
Fast-paced action is a commonality in many comic books, in his new book World War Mob, author Vito Delsante has managed to capture an exciting, cinematic, and intensely personal military thriller. The series follows the actions of a group of GI’s on the Italian front during, and in the years immediately following World War II. An strikingly familiar narrative, the story is a personal one for the author Delsante:
The story was told to me when I was a teenager. (It was) one of my grandfather’s war stories. (Years later), I was watching the Tarantino (version of) Inglorious Basterds and the structure spoke to me, I realized I could tell the story as a comic.
The narrative crafted by Delsante has a strikingly cinematic flair. Flipping through the pages of World War Mob, the visual and narrative structure of the comic book is reminiscent of the gritty military thrillers of the late sixties and seventies like The Dirty Dozen and The Inglorious Bastards. The environment in World War Mob does not show the polished patriotism of a 1940s depiction of World War II. These characters are grizzled and layered, casting a weary vision of the effects of the war, a treatment at home in the war films of the 1970s.
World War Mob is illustrated with highly textured, stylized artwork, which contributes greatly to the World War II setting of the comic. The artwork by Giancarlo Caracuzzo is highly textured and hand-drawn, and very much captures the disillusionment of wartime in his use of a very earthy color palate. In a pop culture climate which tends to favor highly polished and brightly colored computer generated artwork, Caracuzzo’s artwork stands out as unique and well crafted.
I had this idea (that) if I’m going to do a story based in Italy, I want it to be authentic. I thought it would be a very genuine experience to get someone…who was based in Italy, or someone who’s grandparents were in Italy during the war. Getting someone from Italy was a boom to the book. It looks European.
On top of the promotion for his latest work World War Mob, Delsante is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next book series, Stray. The book is described as, “The story of Rodney Weller, formerly known as the Rottweiler, sidekick to the great Doberman…his mentor. (Weller is) back to solve the murder of the person who trained him….The story is about redemption and finding your own identity in the world.”
(Weller) is forced to become a man…He’s trying to find out who he is. I hesitate to say a coming of age tale…There’s strong subject matter. It’s very gritty, and it can be dark in some ways. By the end of the first volume, it starts lightening up.
The campaign for Stray has been a noted success, meeting its initial $8,000 dollar goal to fund the first issue. The Kickstarter project remains open for funding through November 8, with a number of goals still to reach. All money donated past the initial goal goes to fund more issues of the series.
The official release date for World War Mob is January 8, 2014. The book is an innovative and well assembled, definitely worth checking out for fans of independent work outside of the Marvel and DC. Meanwhile, fans of superhero books should take a look at Delsante’s ongoing Kickstarter campaign for Stray, which is a creative spin on the tried and true superhero genre.