Blaze of Glory #1A

Blaze of Glory is James A. Bretney’s latest work – the story of Mack, a veteran of two Iraq Wars. In issue #1A we see Mack’s Baptism by fire, and begin to learn about the toll of war. Aws a special preview, here is James A. Bretney’s afterword:

When I was in Film School, my teacher Yves Martin told us that the visual arts is a lagging medium.

I learned about this story 3 years after it happened. I read the public domain work from Army Historian Richard Killblane. I made a set of videos from pictures and videos the soldiers gave me which allowed me to document the story on YouTube. These videos, collectively titled Blaze of Glory make up my most watched videos on my channel. Naturally, the statistics reflect top countries by views: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany tied in the first spot. Number two is Iraq.

10 years after the ambushes, after having failed numerous times to get this story on movies or TV, here it is in a comic book. Though the medium seems like a consolation prize, I am very proud of the product; it looks better than anything I have done in film.

Killblane’s Book Convoy Ambush Case Studies tells lots of true stories. Many of his source material stem from a real life person I will henceforth refer to as Mack – the name of my protagonist. Killblane and Mack formed such a real kinship that much of Killblane’s writing is from Mack’s perspective.

When I first read it, it mirrored some of my own experiences during my tours of duty. It is a given that the bad guys are going to kill you. You’re an American. They want you dead. They are kind of like Zombies. But what bothered me then and bothers me to this day, (and where my writing and Killblane’s deviate) is that I didn’t expect my own Army to assist in trying to get me killed.

Rich doesn’t want to criticize the Army. He sees the bigger picture. His experiences in and out have been different than mine even though we are both looking at the same Rorschach blob. The bureaucracy and the political correctness killed more soldiers than the enemy did. This institutional friendly fire, this dress right dress, flagpole, garrison mentality that we called the Big Gay Army when referring to stupid dictates outside the SOF community, kills people. The Big Gay Army does not want a warrior ethos. It wants robotic milksops that obey and feed the short-term political objectives of the puppeteers. If that sounds too much like the ramblings of a “pass the ganja” 9-11 Truther, I am sorry.

The Department of Defense Public Relations Officer in Hollywood won’t help this Veteran tell another Veteran’s story. But it will bend over for Marvel’s Transformers and Iron Man. I am not going to conceal my moral outrage. This is not a happy story, and I am not a happy man. But this is a true story based on real events and real people. Hopefully it entertains. Hopefully it provides an escape exposing the reader to these dangers from the comfort of their own home. But ultimately I hope it provokes the reader to think. For only the dead have seen the end of war. I am 41 years old and before I die, we will see a Third Iraq War. Count on it.

James A. Bretney, November 2014.


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Blaze of Glory #1

Article keywords: Blaze of Glory #1A

30 Days of Invasion – Day 30

Day 30 of our September 2014 feature, 30 Days of Invasion. Each day, we will share a preview and cool fact, quote or other fun stuff about Alien Invasions and Jeffery Thompson’s Diaries of the Invasion! #Invasion

Diaries of the Invasion Preview #30:
Meet the team behind Diaries of the Invasion!
30 Days of Invasion - Day 30


 


Diaries of The Invasion #1 (Digital) Diaries of The Invasion #1 (Print Pre-Order)


    


Article Keywords: 30 Days of invasion, Diaries of the Invasion, Jeffery Thompson

30 Days of Invasion – Day 29

Day 29 of our September 2014 feature, 30 Days of Invasion. Each day, we will share a preview and cool fact, quote or other fun stuff about Alien Invasions and Jeffery Thompson’s Diaries of the Invasion! #Invasion

Diaries of the Invasion Preview #29:
Sure, it took 100 years, but finally there is hope for the future…
30 Days of Invasion - Day 29


 


Diaries of The Invasion #1 (Digital) Diaries of The Invasion #1 (Print Pre-Order)


    


Article Keywords: 30 Days of invasion, Diaries of the Invasion, Jeffery Thompson

30 Days of The Kursk – Day 30

And so we bring our feature for the #Kursk to an end. But that doesn’t mean that this excellent series is going away. I am thrilled to announce that issue #2 will be available shortly, and that the final two issues should be ready by the end of this year. Before, we get to the full resolution preview of Sasha Janowicz’ reflection on the Kursk Disaster, I am also pleased to announce that The Kursk #1 is now available in Spanish, with Chinese and Russian editions coming very soon! Stay tuned for more Kursk!

30 Days of The Kursk - Day 30
30 Days of The Kursk - Day 30

Article Keywords: 30 Days of The Kursk – Day 30, #kursk

30 Days of The Kursk – Day 29

Almost there! Here’s an interesting Russian Navy fact:
Before the #kursk disaster in 1995, a nuclear submarine had its electricity cut by an electricity company at a naval base due to unpaid bills. The submarine’s cooling system ceased to function and the reactor “came close to meltdown”

Also, since we are nearing the end, here are the remaining pages, and we have something special for Day 30!

30 Days of The Kursk - Day 29


30 Days of The Kursk - Day 29


30 Days of The Kursk - Day 29

Article Keywords: 30 Days of The Kursk – Day 29, #kursk

30 Days of The Kursk – Day 26

Day 26 is upon us – In the end the bow of the #kursk was not recovered and was destroyed by explosives in 2002. Only small pieces of the bow were recovered (some torpedo and torpedo tube fragments).

30 Days of The Kursk - Day 26

Article Keywords: 30 Days of The Kursk – Day 26, #kursk

30 Days of The Kursk – Day 25

Here we are, with 5 days left to go! The #Kursk, an Oscar-class submarine was preparing to load a dummy 65-76 “Kit” torpedo when a fire, followed by a large explosion, caused the ship to sink.

30 Days of The Kursk - Day 25

Article Keywords: 30 Days of The Kursk – Day 25. #kursk

30 Days of The Kursk – Day 24

Day 24 of the #Kursk – Here’s a bit of a backgrounder that we eluded to earlier. The Kursk received its name from the famous battle (you can read the Wikipedia article here). From the article

The Battle of Kursk was a World War II engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk (450 kilometres or 280 miles southwest of Moscow) in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. The German offensive was code-named Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle) and led to one of the largest armoured clashes in history, the Battle of Prokhorovka. The German offensive was countered by two Soviet counteroffensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (Russian: Полководец Румянцев) and Operation Kutuzov (Russian: Кутузов). For the Germans, the battle represented the final strategic offensive they were able to mount in the east. For the Soviets, the decisive victory gave the Red Army the strategic initiative for the rest of the war.

The Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off a large number of forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient assembling for an offensive. By eliminating the Kursk salient they would also shorten their lines of defence, taking the strain off of their overstretched forces. The plan envisioned an envelopment by a pair of pincers breaking through the northern and southern flanks of the salient. Hitler thought that a victory here would reassert Germany’s strength and improve his prestige with allies who were considering withdrawing from the war. It was also hoped that large numbers of Soviet prisoners would be captured to be used as slave labour in Germany’s armaments industry.

The Soviets had intelligence of the German intentions, provided in part by British intelligence service and Tunny intercepts. Aware that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient months in advance, the Soviets built a defence in depth designed to wear down the German panzer spearheads. The Germans delayed the start date of the offensive while they tried to build up their forces and waited for new weapons, mainly the new Panther tank but also larger numbers of the Tiger heavy tank. This gave the Red Army time to construct a series of deep defensive lines. The defensive preparations included minefields, fortifications, pre-sighted artillery fire zones and anti-tank strong points, which extended approximately 300 km (190 mi) in depth. In addition, Soviet mobile formations were moved out of the salient and a large reserve force was formed for strategic counteroffensives.

The Battle of Kursk was the first time a German strategic offensive had been halted before it could break through enemy defences and penetrate to its strategic depths. Though the Soviet Army had succeeded in winter offensives previously, their counter-offensives following the German attack were their first successful strategic summer offensives of the war.

30 Days of The Kursk - Day 24