Keep Calm and Carry On. Words to live by then and now. It was a popular mantra during WWll and could be found on postcards and bulletins all over Britain. The Two Generals begins with that mantra. The book is based on the true story of Law Chantler of Newmarket, Ont. and his buddy Jack Chrysler of Galt, Ont. who both enlisted in the Canadian army in the Second World War. Written and drawn by Scott Chantler, this graphic novel is a labour of love, Law was Chantler’s grandfather. The title comes from a note jotted on the back of a photograph of the two men, Law sent to his wife: “Just an informal shot of the two generals.”
Chantler and Chrysler would find themselves on the shores of Normandy in one of the most important battles of the war. From Law soaking in a metal washtub with nothing but his helmet on, to the bull-handled one geared bicycles issued to the men as official equipment Chantler’s beautifully drawn pages bring the army, training and the battles to life. The panels are coloured in an olive green with splashes of red where appropriate. I won’t spoil it for you, read it yourself.
They were good men Law and Jack, naive as all the men were. How were they to know the grimness of a war. They joined because it was the right thing to do. One comes home and one does not. Everyone should read this graphic novel, especially with Remembrance Day on the horizon. Simple men did great things, they should not be forgotten.
Two Generals. Scott Chantler. McClelland & Stewart, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7710-1958-6