New Graphic Novels Tell Stories of the Original Tank Girls of World War II

The
journey of a Ukrainian farm girl from student to guerilla to Red Army tank
commander
 

Now available from Grand Design Publishing are the first two
graphic novels in Wayne Vansant’s World War II trilogy KATUSHA, GIRL SOLDIER OF
THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR.  Titled KATUSHA BOOK ONE: EDGE OF DARKNESS and
KATUSHA BOOK TWO: THE SHAKING OF THE EARTH, the books are 184 color pages each
and retail for $9.99 in digital and $19.99 in print.
 
Created by writer/artist Wayne Vansant (Marvel’s THE NAM,
Zenith’s Graphic Histories series), KATUSHA is the story of
a Ukrainian farm girl turned soldier, a coming-of-age story told against the
backdrop of the bloodiest conflict in human history: the 1941-1945 Eastern Front
between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  Although
fiction, the story is inspired by the experiences of thousands of women who
served in the Red Army as pilots, snipers, tank drivers, and in other
roles.  Print editions are now available from Amazon.com,
Barnesandnoble.com and other online retailers.  Digital editions are
available through ComicsPlus, Google Play, and BooksAMillion, and are available
to libraries though Overdrive and ComicsPlus: Library Edition.  The third
book will be released in Spring of 2015.  Interest in tank warfare of World
War II is on the rise due to the enormous success of the video game World of
Tanks, with over 75 million registered users. 
 
KATUSHA BOOK ONE opens with 16-year-old
Ekaterina “Katusha” Tymoshenko’s graduation from high school outside of Kiev,
Ukraine. Shortly after, her world changes forever on Sunday
June 22, 1941, when Germany invades Ukraine (then part of the Soviet
Union).  Refusing to live under the brutality of the Nazi occupiers, the
girl and her family flee to the forest, where she is tutored in guerilla warfare
by her Ukrainian-nationalist uncle, Taras.   In KATUSHA BOOK TWO,
Katusha and her sister Mila end up in Russia, where they are witness to the
carnage of the Battle of Stalingrad before being sent by their father to the Red
Army’s tank school.  There they learn to operate the mighty T-34, the most
fearsome tank on the Eastern Front.  Katusha will fight from countryside to
cities to the very heart of Berlin itself, and in the process grow from an
inexperienced farm girl to a mature capable
woman.
 
Wayne
Vansant has chronicled history in comics format since 1986.  He was the
primary artist for Marvel’s acclaimed Vietnam War title, THE ‘NAM, and he has
recently returned to historical fiction with his three-volume series KATUSHA, an
epic of the eastern front of World War II.  He has
researched, written, and illustrated many non-fiction graphic novels on subjects
including the Korean War, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, and the Battle
of Antietam. Since 2013 Vansant has released four non-fiction graphic novels
through Zenith Publishing, GRANT VS LEE, GETTSYBURG, NORMANDY, and BOMBING NAZI
GERMANY, all recently made available digitally through comiXology, with two more
to be published in 2014, THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE and THE RED BARON. 
Vansant is a native of Georgia and served in the United States Navy during the
Vietnam War.

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