RESEARCHING THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR #2

Issue #2 of the Royals was released this week. Here’s the handy Comixology link to buy it digitally https://www.comixology.com/The-Royals-Masters-of-War-2014-2/digital-comic/77934. And here’s Si Coleby’s stellar cover again. One of my favourites, this:

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And here’s Si’s black and white version, before JD Mettler’s colours. Do have a soft spot for the B25 Mitchell. And there’s a great deal of The Royals that is plane porn, we’ll admit.

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Issue two sees the Royal children – Henry, Arthur and Rose – travelling with a certain Winston Churchill to the United States to attempt to convince FDR that America should actively join the war. At this stage of the conflict in our real world history, America was helping with Lend-Lease Aid, providing materials to the Allies to be used in the fight against the Nazis. They did this for nine months before actually entering the war themselves. Britain was running short of supplies, and money, and FDR, by Neutrality laws, wasn’t able to sell arms to Britain ‘on credit’. So he came up with the idea of Lend-Lease instead. The majority of the American people wanted to enter the war at this point too, so he knew he had the public’s support in this.

Incidentally, Britain only finished paying off its financial debt to the US for the Second World War II in 2006… Then the British treasury sent £42.4 million to the US and £9.98 million to Canada via electronic payment, the 50th instalment on the loan that kept the UK afloat during six years of war with Germany.

Digressing a bit there. But all of this sets the background for our #2. America is preparing for the inevitable but, given the inevitable cost, you can’t blame FDR for a human reluctance to commit to war. Researching the issue, I was surprised to read that, despite the now commonplace historical image of Roosevelt in his wheelchair, he took great pains to ensure he was never photgraphed as such. He would sometimes stand to greet people, leaning on an aid for support despite the pain this caused him. Thanks to his polio he was effectively paralyzed from the waist down but taught himself to stand and even walk a few steps thanks to iron braces etc. Part of the fun of writing a book like The Royals is how much you learn during research. Little details that make the book all the richer.

And in our THE ROYALS reality, America has brought together its own finest athletes and WASP families of excellent breeding (I imagined there’s British Royal blood in their family tree a couple of centuries removed, although that’s not really stated in the script) to create a new super-team: THE ALLIES:

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Do like Arthur’s dialogue when he sees the team: “Hell’s bells, man. What have you got the poor bastards wearing?”

And Henry gets probably his only funny line in the whole series: “They do look like a flag shop’s exploded while they were walking past.”

And then there’s a dance at the White House. And an unexpected visitor. And the story takes a turn towards the dark…

In other news, I’m told that EVANGELYNE, the western short I did with Rey Macutay and colours by Matt Wilson, will be appearing in next week’s Judge Dredd Megazine 346. It’s a gorgeous-looking thing:

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