Comic Review: Slaughter-House Five (BOOM! Studios)

BOOM! Studios release a graphic novel adaptation about an American classic and one of the most seminal anti-war books in this world in Slaughter House-Five, or the children’s crusade: a […]

BOOM! Studios release a graphic novel adaptation about an American classic and one of the most seminal anti-war books in this world in Slaughter House-Five, or the children’s crusade: a duty-dance with the death.

So there’s a comic that I’m not expecting as much like the others, I’m reading an anti-war book that almost relates to WW2. There you’ll see one of the most disturbing scenes as you’ll ever see, and it’s about some pathetic man who got sent to war. The story is written by Kurt Vonnegut and Ryan North, and illustrated by Albert Monteys. Kurt has published more than 14 novels and other literary work in his career for over 50 years, he’s most famous for his best selling novel which is this comic that was released as a novel in 1969. He’s a veteran who fought in World War II in Europe but then was captured by Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. However, this book is resonated with the readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War and made it more of a positive side for the readers to get, however, all of the stories are related to his own experience during the war.

The front cover shows a clever graphic design work by Scott Newman and Albert Monteys. As you can see, the main character was being hypnotized by the art of war, as if the whole scenery resembles the alien invasion. This is actually an inspiration of an alien invasion, the missiles are raining down towards Earth and plans to destroy the whole battlefield, while the helmet is more like mind control to the main character, and from the image, it seems that the helmet is dragging him inside, like some aliens are using a tractor beam to drag a person into the ship. The graphic design was flawless, and I’m not saying that it’s bad, it contains a lot of work from the artist and having so many shapes and typography to give the readers a message.

So on the starting few pages, it shows a message which is written by Kurt saying “The Dresden atrocity, tremendously expensive and meticulously planned, was so meaningless, finally, that only one person on the entire planet got any benefit from it.” And then he described his own experience just to write this book to show that money can’t buy from those who were killed. And this book is meant for Kurt, for the lives who had lost during the war, and for those who have come unstuck. The story starts when it suddenly turned the whole world upside-down thinking that Kurt has experienced the crisis of the wars that he fought, captured, and being turned over. So it starts when Kurt had an idea to start making an anti-war book like this one, but then some woman told that the men who fought WW2 were more like child’s play, but to tell you the truth, it was child’s play, depending on how much crisis that we’ve experienced during 2020. And then Kurt called this anti-war book as a Children’s Crusade. He mentioned “The Children’s Crusade” because she mentioned that the war that they fought are like babies who cried a lot. Now have you ever saw a soldier who fought like a baby? I barely even remember The Pearl Harbor and The Cold War or Hitler being a complete douche to take over the world.

So, Kurt brought up some characters which are coming from a different time, starting Billy Pilgrim who came unstuck in time, which is more likely to be Scott Pilgrim who came to fight for his girlfriend. But here, he has no control over where he’s going in his life. And then there’s some of the supporting cast of characters which has something to do with Billy and his problems. The funny thing about this story is that when Billy is being scared in fright, he literally became one of the Three Stooges, which is one of them is someone whose head is up in the clouds. The comic started to have a few flashbacks of his past, where he grew up in some catholic family, where he had a vision of his mother dying and saying how did she get so old, and how did he make out with his girlfriend during the party. Don’t know how I say this, but Billy is a crackhead. Don’t know why but this comic keeps having these scenes of Billy and his daily life as if he has experienced PTSD. I’m guessing that all his life has spent on these certain events, Billy has remembered how he became to be young again during his childhood, school years, parties, and such. But the question is how does this story relate to children at war?

The story is uncanny, but it doesn’t make sense of how Kurt actually called it The Children’s Crusade as an alternative? Was this book actually made from a human being? I didn’t think of it at first but when that woman mentioned that men who are fighting at a war are like babies, now that I can relate to the politicians. I can’t imagine how these people behave that way, especially that SOB Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio, and Donald Trump, we’re all just savages and ignorance to them, but for me, I’m not like them, I’m glad that this COVID existed because I can focus on my work and once more, and helping people just to be safe by designing face masks. However, at the end of the book, there’s a quote by Eliot Rosewater who wrote “I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren’t going to want to go on living.” That’s probably true which is coming from him because this story shows nothing more than Billy’s stupidity and daydreaming of his past. And if this wasn’t enough, the back of the book it says that the story takes him to a journey to look at the horror and tragedy of war where the children are placed on the frontlines and die. Then why does the whole story has to do with the children putting on the frontline just to get killed? I swear if such a comic like that actually exists I’m putting on a big rant of why that comic isn’t for kids to experience the war and violence out there. The art style is kinda cartoonish, but I guess that would describe how this comic would be if only Billy is acting all cooky up in his head. However, he goes under soul searching for something which he has come unstuck in time. The characters are goofier like, but does this story include aliens as well, if you can look at the one-eyed hand, it almost like a demon’s hand, or the soul of the Witchblade. The whole story is like giving him some therapy and just to go on a journey so he can escape time. Slaughter House-Five is a read for comic fans and novel fans if you want to experience the timeline with Billy and Kurt, well I guess it couldn’t be helped wasn’t it?

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.