Title: ‘True War Stories No.1: Thomas Baker Brown’
Artist-writer: Terry Wiley, with the Thomas Baker Brown archive
Publisher: Applied Comics Etc
Where Can I Get it?
free comic, plus workshop and archive resources available online tinyurl.com/tbbrown (and print version available for teachers/schools in the North East).
What is ‘True War Stories’?
‘True War Stories No.1’ tells the World War I story of Thomas Baker Brown, a local North Shields man. It follows his experiences as a soldier on the Western Front and in Prisoner of War camps, as a ‘typical Tommy’ from our local area. Thomas’ archive includes original comics from WWI – his son tells us he was an avid collector of ephemera from this period – so it was logical for Terry to focus on the line art and formal comics styles of the early twentieth century. ‘True War Stories No.1’ is both a standalone comic and the central part of our local history workshops and anthology with students from the North East.
Why should we pick this up?
Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International: ‘Through simple but easily read panels, a life at war is told. It’s actually remarkably affecting, the simplicity of Wiley’s storytelling, the no nonsense approach of Thomas. … I think that final panel may be a thing of quiet, understated brilliance.’
St John’s Catholic School teacher: “The students really enjoyed the workshop and I have had extremely positive feedback from them all. … We are already planning as a department how we can use the comic of Thomas Baker Brown next year.”
Monkseaton High School student: ‘It was interesting and I learned a lot about history.’