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The Stringbags Hardcover – Illustrated, May 20, 2020

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"I really enjoyed the artwork in The Stringbags.... It was a delight to read all the way through. If you're a fan of Garth Ennis or if you're simply a war history buff, I highly recommend you pick up this graphic novel!" --CoolComicReviews.com

--Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award: 2020 BRONZE Winner for Graphic Novels & Comics

"I recommend this book if you are into any WWII history - especially focusing on English or flight warfare in general. This story brings you right into the action and portions of the lives of the aircrews and their superiors. Go to your local comic book store and order a copy of The Stringbags today!" --Sequential Tart

"The Stringbags is Garth Ennis doing what he does best-telling in-depth war stories full of historical detail along with some fiction. P.J. Holden provides some fantastic art as well and the whole book is a lovely read. 5 out of 5 stars." --The Newest Rant

"A real corker of a war comic, this expertly balances research, amusement, and stirring emotion." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"This may be the best war comic to come out in years." --ICv2

"The story is divided into sections based on three major actions in which the planes participated; Archie, Ollie, and Pops are involved in each. The action culminates in an attack on the German battleship Bismarck that evokes an emotional reaction on behalf of the trio and the war's real-life combatants. While its story is sympathetic and exciting, the book also contains fascinating details related to military equipment, strategy, and tactics, and its sense of history is satisfying. The art renders the uniforms, airplanes, and weaponry of the time with accuracy. Battle scenes are visceral and heart-pounding, showing the horror and confusion of war. An afterword separates the book's facts from its fictions, explaining the creative liberties that were taken with the story. The Stringbags is a triumphant graphic novel about World War II heroism." --Foreword Reviews

"This is a wonderful book in a format that can easily be read and understood by younger generations." --Navy Wings Heritage Trust

"The Stringbags -- biplanes flying through WWII, underpowered, undergunned, whose crews never expected to become heroes in a plane that was never expected to become the stuff of legends. Garth Ennis and PJ Holden's Stringbags takes three of the most famous missions and ties it all together through the exploits of a trio of fictional Navy airmen -- Ennis is on top form doing what he loves and Holden delivers career highlight artwork." --Comicon

"The Stringbags is absolutely stunning. Stitching together Taranto, the Bismarck and the Channel Dash together through the experience of a single crew was a masterstroke. And the art is awesomely good. Gorgeous. It really is a hell of a book." --Rowland White, author of ​Into the Black​ and​ Harrier 809

"The Stringbags centers on the Fairey Swordfish biplane; the outmoded, unfashionable fighter plane that nevertheless helped turn the tide of second World War dogfights. It's rugged, well-executed action, recalling the classic tropes of mid-century British war comics, brought thrillingly to life via the clean, compelling art of fellow Belfast man, PJ Holden." --The Irish Times

"For fans of World War II stories, this book is highly recommended. The mixture of historical facts, technical accuracy, and, relatable protagonists works well." --Social Blunderer

"An epic tribute to little-known heroes, featuring frenzied depictions of midair combat by Holden." --Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Beautifully presented worthy of anyone's attention." --DOWNTHETUBES.NET

"The Stringbags is even better than I'd hoped…. Each part of Stringbags has text exposition, giving historical context, sometimes bridging between scenes; it's great text too. Ennis writes history with a mix of enthusiasm and flair--he takes it seriously, explaining his creative choices with facts in the afterword (because he too seems to recognize the potential of the project)--so even as you wait to find out what's happening to the heroes, you don't really want the lecture to end. Ennis is concise and fact-filled, with an intention of making those facts count not fill…. It's fiction with straight non-fiction tangents. It's awesome." --The Stop Button

"This well-written and beautifully-illustrated graphic novel tells of the courageous exploits of 'Stringbaggers' in the triumph against the Italian fleet at Taranto, against the mighty German battleship Bismarck in the war for the North Atlantic to the deadly challenge of the Channel Dash as Germany tried to sneak a fleet through the English Channel to Norway." --On the Bookshelf with Doc Kirby

"A reserve crew in a hopelessly outdated biplane attacking the might of a battleship convoy in the early days of World War II. The Stringbags is, like the best well-researched military history, delivered with genuine heart, something Garth Ennis excels at. A gripping underdog tale filled with spectacle and tragedy, featuring career-best art from PJ Holden." --Rob Williams, author of Judge Dredd and​ Unfollow

"The Stringbags​ artfully meshes fiction into a factual narrative, bringing to life the story of an oft-overlooked combat force in WWII. An entertaining read, even to those who are already aware of the Swordfish's wartime feats." ​--Nick Moran, AKA 'The Chieftain'

"The art of storytelling lies in drawing readers in, making them hungry to know what comes next. The Stringbags has that in abundance. Intending merely to take an exploratory glance, I couldn't stop reading. A fascinating, engaging and well-researched script that you'd expect from Garth Ennis augmented by admirably clear and atmospheric art from PJ Holden, beautifully coloured by Kelly Fitzpatrick. Highly recommended for lovers of damn good stories." --John Wagner, co-creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog

About the Author

Garth Ennis has been writing comics since 1989. Credits include Preacher, The Boys (both adapted for TV), Hitman and successful runs on The Punisher and Fury for Marvel Comics. He is particularly known for his war comics, including War Stories, Battlefields, Out of the Blue, Sara, and a recent revival of the classic British series Johnny Red. Originally from Northern Ireland, Ennis now lives in New York City with his wife, Ruth.

PJ Holden is a Belfast-based comic artist. Best known for his work for 2000AD on Judge Dredd, over the last twenty years he's also drawn Rogue Trooper, Robocop/Terminator, James Bond: M, World of Tanks, and Battlefields. He is the co-creator of Dept. of Monsterology and Numbercruncher. He is married to Annette and has two children, Thomas and Nathan.

Kelly Fitzpatrick is a Hugo nominated comic book colorist and illustrator. She has worked on everything from Kickstarter and indie publications to DC graphic novels. Kelly spends all of her free time doting on her dog, Archie as well as training dogs, doing yoga and aerial acrobatics, and self-publishing her own books.

Rob Steen has lettered comics for all major comic book companies. He is also the illustrator of the children's book series Flanimals, written by Ricky Gervais, and Erf, written by Garth Ennis.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dead Reckoning; Illustrated edition (May 20, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1682475034
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1682475034
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.68 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.3 x 0.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 81 ratings

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Garth Ennis is the award-winning writer of Hellblazer, Hitman, Punisher, Preacher, Pride and Joy and War Stories. He is much in demand for his hard-edged, wickedly humorous style.

Photo by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA (william and garth ennis) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
81 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Tom Heath
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure who it is intended for.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars 30 pages missing???
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2021
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Dr F O George
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and moving.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Follow a likeable crew in a remarkable plane during WW2.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 11, 2020
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