Ennis + Holden take flight in ‘The Lion & the Eagle’ next year

The war comic kicks off in February.

AfterShock Comics has announced a new prestige-format war comic coming from the team of Garth Ennis and PJ Holden next year.

The Lion and the Eagle will tell the story of the Chindits, a British special forces unit active in Burma during the Japanese occupation in 1944.

“The conflict between the British and Japanese in Burma is almost lost to history now; indeed, the British soldiers who fought there came to refer to themselves as The Forgotten Army,” Ennis said. “That’s partly what drew me to their story, a chance to keep alive the memories of the men who faced Imperial Japan. There’s also the political aspect, as the two warring nations find themselves fighting for possession of Burma and India, two countries who by and large would have preferred to have neither of these foreign powers on their soil.”

Ennis and Holden will be joined by colorist Matt Milla, and letterer Rob Steen for the miniseries.

“Garth and I have worked together a few times now — actually, I think this will be 10 years of various war stories in a variety of settings — so I have a system,” Holden said. “Largely it’s heads down and do the homework, research the period, find 3D models of things and get the costumes right, then characters – characters are really important and much trickier when you’re working in a war story. Primarily because, well, you might have a cast of thousands but the upshot is that the characters you expect to spend a lot of time with are dressed nearly identical, often have similar body types and need to be identifiable up close (which is relatively easy) but also at a distance – again, much harder. It’s a tightrope. My normal art style leans a little cartoonier than most and so my characters, even when drawn realistically tend to be a little warmer and more open (I think) than anything too hard edged, and it means I get to push their characteristics a little further. But again, all caveated by the fact you’re drawing real situations, real people (in some cases) and real things.”

The first issue, which will retail for $7.99, arrives Feb. 16. Check out some of Holden’s artwork for it below.

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