Comics about Popski’s Private Army

Over the years we have found three old comics with PPA stories in and have negotiated with their publishers to bring them here. We’re somewhat envious of our Libyan Desert Expeditions pal Kuno Gross though, who has amassed arguably the largest collection of Desert-War-Special-Forces Commando and War Picture Library comics [foPPA Secretary grew up on these]. Here’s just a few from Kuno’s collection: click the image to see the whole lot on his Desert Stories website…

2 Mar 2014 [Secretary]: I was recently contacted by Kuno, on behalf of Italian aerospace expert and Professor of History Gregory Alegi, with a query about an eminent Italian cartoonist called Hugo Pratt (English grandfather). Pratt claimed to have entered Venice with Popski in 1945, and also claimed that a Polish-Jewish Officer called Vladimir Koinsky was also in PPA, having served with British forces during the East African Campaign, and Gregory wanted to know if these claims stood up. As I’d never heard of either of them I had to say sorry, no[1]. However, further research has suggested (there are several different version of this story) that Hugo did enter Venice with a column of Canadian Armoured Cars, apparently taken on by Eighth Army as an interpreter, so could have been in Venice around the same time as Popski’s one-day visit.

After the war Hugo went on to international success as a leading creator of adventure comic books and to be posthumously inducted (he died in 1995) into the Comic Book Hall of Fame at the 17th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 2005. Hugo Pratt drew extensively on carefully researched historical material, and his most famous creations were “The Desert Scorpion” and Corto Maltese, but it seems he always had a soft spot for Popski. Intrigued by all this I asked Kuno and Gregory if they had any examples of his comic book depictions of Popski and his fictional pal Koinsky. Indeed they did (of course), and here are just a few of them…