Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman's Shooting War is one of the strongest graphic novels I've read in years, a tough anti-war comic that provides trenchant, spot-on commentary about the relationship of the news-media to all sides of modern war.
Jimmy Burns is a left-wing, anti-corporate vlogger living in gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn who becomes famous when the Starbucks underneath his apartment is blown up by terrorists just as he's shooting a live video-stream of himself decrying the incursion of Seattle's Green Menace. When Fox News (well, "Global News Network," but it's clear who that's supposed to be) puts him on the air to talk about it, he lights into the bubblehead newscaster with a screed about the venality of cable news. This moves Rupert Murdoch (not actually Rupert, but another right-wing Australian media tycoon) to offer him a job as the network's new Baghdad correspondent. One page later, and Jimmy is in Iraq, covering the war and riding the danger rush.
Jimmy's ratings are buoyed by his capture by a media-savvy terrorist who is bent on becoming supreme commander of the jihad, and is prepared to use Jimmy's camera as a conduit for attaining his goal. As the story unfolds, Jimmy is caught between his unscrupulous employers, the bloodthirsty jihadis, battle-maddened US forces, cynical journalists, and his own self-doubt, with only his producer (a Sorbonne-educated Iraqi woman whose communist parents were hunted by Saddam) and Dan Rather (!) for guidance.
The comic embodies the best traits of war-comics -- gripping, fast-moving action -- with savvy commentary, and the artwork matches it with a blend of beautiful illustration collaged against news-photos and screen-grabs.
Shooting War started off as an online project and you can still follow the story there, but the book is a nicely produced lump of atoms and well worth the price.
Kory Stamper, author of the new book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries describes three criteria Merriam-Webster uses for inclusion of words like truther, binge-watch, photobomb and the 1,000 other words that make the cut in a typical year.
I read pretty much every Disneyland history and fact book I find. Chris Strodder’s The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom lives up to its massive title. A simple alphabetical listing of just about every First through Fifth order-of-interest […]
Abuses in my youth have left me in a lot of pain. Robin McKenzie’s Treat Your Own Back helped me more than any doctor. I was desperately searching for an option other than letting doctors I do not trust operate on my spine. In response, a friend sent me a copy of this book. Spine, […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]