The war memoir as graphic novel-an utterly unforgettable and highly original look at war in the 21st century.
Street battles with spears and arrows in sweltering East Timor. Bone- jarring artillery duels in Afghanistan's mountains. Long patrols on the sandy wastes of southern Iraq. For four years, war was life for David Axe. He was alternately bored out of his mind and completely terrified. It was strangely addictive.
As a correspondent for The Washington Times, C-SPAN and BBC Radio, Axe flew from conflict to conflict, reveling in death, danger, and destruction abroad while, back in D.C., his apartment gathered dust, his plants died, and his relationships withered. War reporting was physically, emotionally, and financially draining-and disillusioning. Loosely based on the web comic of the same name, with extensive new material, War Is Boring takes us to Lebanon and Somalia; to arms bazaars across the United States; to Detroit, as David tries to reconnect with his family-and to Chad, as David attempts to bring attention to the Darfur genocide.
War journalist Axe has been to some of the most volatile regions of our globe in the past decade, and since 2006 he has used comics to tell the stories he sees there. In his previous War Fix he expressed the drive that inspires him to return to war zone after war zone, in search of the truth about conflicts around the world. Axe founded the Web site War Is Boring, which gives war correspondents and cartoonists a place to report and react to modern-day warfare. At first glance, the combination of hard-hitting war journalism and cartooning is incongruous, but as those who have read Joe Sacco will testify, the graphic novel can be a potent medium in which to show both the fearful tedium and the violence of war. Axe and artist Bors (3 Car Pileup) are well on their way to mastering the balance, using a traditional six-panel grid to give the art a documentary feel. Bors's art has an indie vibe that will pull in readers from other genres, lending sympathy and depth to Axe's troubled protagonist. Like War Fix, this suffers a bit from Axe's ambivalence toward his calling, but his honesty sets it apart from other war narratives. (Aug.)