Private Billy Everette is a marine, a soldier fighting in
Vietnam. Vo Binh Dai is also a soldier, fighting for the people's
army of Vietnam. These two young men have never met. They're
not aware of each other's existence. And yet, in a war-torn
country, in a battle that no sane mind can comprehend, their
destinies are on a collision course. As the madness of war
takes hold of both men, Everette is haunted by the ghosts
of the soldiers that came before him and Vo Binh Dai sees
himself as a mystic warrior on an enlightened quest. But neither
man can truly face the reality of his situation until it is
wonder how many people will be put off from purchasing this
graphic novel by the quote from Variety on the front
cover. "...worth reading to the end." Hmm, not really
the most inspired endorsement I've ever read. It almost sounds
as though it's taken from a poor review that doesn't think
much of the book, but urges you to wade through the rubbish
to get to a half decent conclusion.
Other Side is set during the height of the Vietnam war
and follows two young men, from opposite sides of the Earth,
who must drag themselves through Hell - for the opportunity
to kill one another. When nineteen-year-old Alabama farm boy
Bill Everette is drafted into the Marine Corps in 1967, his
only goal is to get through his tour in one piece. Meanwhile,
Vo Binh Dai, a nineteen-year-old farmer, enlists in the People's
Army of Vietnam, intent on dying bravely for his country.
Both men are haunted by their missions - Everette sees visions
of dead soldiers, and Dai sees real death throughout his long
Great!" I hear you cry. "Yet another Vietnam war
story." What's interesting about The Other Side
is that it's not really about the Vietnam war - it could just
as easily be set in the the current Iraq war, World War II,
or any battle for that matter. What's paramount here is the
very personal experiences of two very similar young souls
who, are experiencing a war from a totally different perspective.
truth this collection is an interesting, mature tale that
explores some of the horrors of fighting for your cause (or
someone else's). Showing both sides of the war (although ultimately
the American side punches through as the most important -
with Vo Binh Dai's fight seem to be born out of an rather
naive belief of how the world is run, while Everette is seen
as a useless man not really sure what he's doing in a foreign
land - fighting for a people who don't really want him there.
Vo Binh Dai seems to be happy to die for his beliefs, while
Everette just want to go back home.
is also an interesting Vietnam Diary by artist Cameron Stewart
as well as a few pages of rough sketches and some text on
the main inspiration for the story. At the end of the day
an entertaining read that brings home the futility of war.