Four-Fisted Tales

Animals in Combat

by Ben Towle

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Book Cover: Four-Fisted Tales
Editions:Paperback Original with French Flaps: $ 24.95
ISBN: 978-1-68247-416-7
Size: 6.75 x 9.50 in
Pages: 120

In virtually every military conflict in recorded history animals have fought—and often died—alongside their human counterparts. While countless stories of the men and women who’ve served in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields have been told, Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat shares the stories of the animals who fought alongside them.

From Hannibal’s elephants in ancient Rome to mine-sniffing rats in Vietnam and everything in between, Four-Fisted Tales highlights the real-life contributions of these underappreciated animal warriors. Whether in active combat or simply as companions, these animals served and made their mark on history.

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Reviews:—Publishers Weekly wrote:

“Possibly the first military history that could be described as adorable, this episodic graphic novel from Towle recounts the animal cohorts of human warfare…. Towle’s rigorously detailed art evokes the kind of spot illustrations found in old-school children’s encyclopedias. (Even the pagination is shadowed with paw prints.).... This undeniably captivating book is nearly too cute for its own good.”

—Jeff Smith, writer and illustrator of Bone wrote:

Four-Fisted Tales brings you animal stories you had no idea you needed! From time immemorial to the Gulf War and beyond, each animal, each story makes you say, What? No way! All brought to vivid life by the artistry of Ben Towle!”

—Foreword Reviews wrote:

Four-Fisted Tales is a stellar graphic history whose art is exemplary, capturing action, humor, and poignancy alike.”

—David Backhouse, designer and sculptor of the Animals In War monument, Park Lane, London wrote:

“They had no choice and sadly neither did the majority of the men who fought. Despite the battle being a human one we would have known no victory without the support of the animals.”


About the Contributor

Ben Towle is a four-time Eisner-nominated cartoonist. His previous works include Oyster War; Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean (with Sarah Stewart Taylor), which received accolades from The New York Times and Publishers Weekly and was a Junior Library Guild selection; Midnight Sun; and Farewell, Georgia. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is a professor of illustration at The Columbus College of Art and Design.