May 7th, 2009

Dear Billy Vol. 1 TPB CoverDear Billy is the second of three, three-issue historical-fiction comics that Garth Ennis has written for his “Battlefields” series. Published by Dynamite Entertainment, Dear Billy features Peter Snjeberg on page-to-page art, with cover art by John Cassaday and Gary Leach.

Dear Billy is a story set during World War 2 and narrated by its protagonist Carrie Sutton in the form of a letter. Sombre pencils from Peter Snejbjerg do well to set the tone for Dear Billy as Carrie tells the tale of her first-hand experiences of the hardship of war, not as a soldier or a lonely wife or girlfriend back home, but as a survivor. She tells the story of her silent suffering, her loneliness, her vengeance, her shame, her love, and of Britishness.

I don’t have much more to add in the way of personal commentary on Dear Billy. As was the case with The Night Witches (whose story is unrelated to Dear Billy’s, by the way), Garth Ennis has not disappointed me with a war story of his yet. One thing I will say is that I’d be hard pressed to name a book that I’ve read wherein its characters are drawn with such deliberately chilling facial expressions. I may give DC’s The Mighty another try after seeing Peter Snejbjerg’s work in Dear Billy.