Born to British parents in Hong Kong on September 16th, 1906, Jack Churchill joined the newly formed Commandos upon the outbreak of the Second World War. He was not entirely sure what “Commando” meant, but signed up because it sounded like it would put him where the action was. He earned the Military Cross and Bar for his actions at Dunkirk, France, and Vågsøy, Norway, and the Distinguished Service Order leading an attack on Salerno, Italy. After the war, he qualified as a paratrooper, joined peacekeeping operations in Palestine, trained troops in Australia, learned to surf and build surfboards, served as an archery consultant in Hollywood, retired from the military in 1959, and died peacefully in 1996.
In early 1942, the Polish 22nd Transport Artillery Supply Company was on training maneuvers in Iran, where they found an orphaned brown bear cub in the care of a local village boy. They adopted the cub, and brought it back to Europe when it was time for them link up with the British and join the fighting in Italy. They named the bear Voytek, which translates roughly to “smiling warrior.” His days as a small cub long behind him, he was trained to carry boxes of artillery shells to the front lines. He drank, smoked, and wrestled with the men, a part of the unit as much as any of them. When the war ended, Voytek joined many of his fellows in Scotland, a popular destination for Polish ex-pats displaced by the USSR. He was retired to the Edinburgh zoo, where he passed away in 1963.
That’s who they really were. The comic we’re making here at CommandoBear.com is a piece of historical fiction, based on the premise of Jack and Voytek being companions during the war, and embarking on a daring mission deep into the heart of Nazi territory. Some of it is inspired by historical fact, and our two heroes aren’t the only real historical figures featured. Others may crop up from time to time. Some already have.
If you’re new to the comic, I advise that you begin here, at the beginning. Our story is serial in nature, and strips tend to flow in sequence a little better than if you catch them out of place at odd intervals. We also have an archive that shows you the complete list of strips in order, by chapter.
We hope you enjoy the story we’re telling as much as we enjoy telling it.