De Grote Zeeslagen: Chesapeake – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History
Written by: Jean-Yves Delitte
Illustrations: Jean-Yves Delitte
Coloring: Douchka Delitte
Publisher: Glénat

De Grote Zeeslagen: Chesapeake – Comic Book Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Illustrations of the ship
Bad: Rushed towards the end
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Jean-Yves Delitte, scenarist and illustrator of comic books, has a new project: De Grote Zeeslagen, which means as much as ‘The Big Sea Battles’. It consists out of several comic books that tell the story behind some of the biggest sea battles in history. In this first issue, he immediately tackles quite a notorious one, namely the battle at Chesapeake Bay during the American Revolutionary War, a battle that had quite a big part in American history as we know it today.

Chesapeake title

The story of this issue is set in the America 1781, when the American Revolutionary War continues to rage. In Yorktown, William and his fellow blue coats are camped, on the lookout for any unexpected movement in the camp of the red coats a bit further away. William isn’t so sure any more about the cause he is serving though, as he joined to overcome the oppression by the English Crown, yet the alternative doesn’t seem too good either. The war keeps going back and forth, the blue coats winning one battle, the red coats winning the other, and William just wants to go back home to his family and have it all over with, but for now, he has no other choice than to stay where he is.

At the same time, on the west coast of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean Sea a French ship called the Auguste rides at anchor. Antoine and André, two of the ship’s crew, have had a fairly easy journey so far, as the French don’t have much difficulty maintaining control over the harbors they occupy on the Antilles. Things are about to change fast though. Admiral De Grace calls the crew together, as they will head to the east coast of America, to Chesapeake Bay, close to Yorktown. There they will help the bluecoats in their fight against the English, but it won’t be an easy fight, that’s for sure, as it involves taking a lot of risks.

Jean-Yves Delitte was responsible for both the scenario, as well as the illustrations for this issue. As far as the story goes, he kept things interesting alternating between the story of William and the blue coats, and that of André and Antoine on the French ship, two stories that will inevitably join at some point. Overall the story is well told, yet towards the end it feels a bit rushed, which is a change of pace we didn’t really expect and find fit for the story.

You could say that Delitte’s illustrations have two sides to them: on one side, there are the illustrations of the characters, for which he uses a lot of fine lines, especially in their faces. This gives them all quite a rough look, which might not be so appealing to everyone’s taste. On the other side, there are the big pictures of the ships, which simply look stunning and form a nice change of pace from the otherwise pretty standard layout of the comic book.

Conclusion

De Grote Zeeslagen: Chesapeake is the first issue in a collection that will no doubt be very worthwhile. That aside, Delitte starts off very promising, but the story lacks a bit of action, rushing things towards the end of the album. When it comes to the illustrations, it will mostly be the ones of the big ships that catch your eye and maybe even blow you away. Chesapeake is definitely a good starter of the series, if you can look past its minor flaws.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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De Grote Zeeslagen: Chesapeake - Comic Book Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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