Wednesday, 15 May 2013

So I read DMZ

A 250 word (or less) review of DMZ the complete series.
By Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, Kristian Donaldson, Nathan Fox, Viktor Kalvachev, Danijel Zezelj, Nikki Cook, Ryan Kelly, Andrea Mutti, Cliff Chiang, David Lapham, and Shawn Martinbrough, Vertigo Comics.

The United States is fighting and has fought in a lot of armed conflicts in countries around the world. Meanwhile, America hasn't had anything resembling a war fought within its own borders since its Civil War. (I'm Canadian, so this is all effectively true of my country too). I think a consequence of the foreign nature of our modern wars is that its difficult to contextualize the violence. As a result, I think it's difficult for North American civilians to properly understand what contemporary warfare really is; the reality of what it looks like and the cost to civilians caught in it. Well, in DMZ, Brain Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, and others have created a story to give North Americans context for modern war. They do this by creating a civil war between the United States and the Free States Army, an ideological insurgent militia, and placing these armies in a military standoff on either side of a demilitarized, war torn Manhattan Island. They then place Matty Roth, an aspiring photojournalist, right in the middle of the maelstrom and explore the conflict with all of its violence, military excess, warlords, corrupt corporations, and would be dictators. DMZ is an alarming and exciting read that makes brilliant use of Manhattan, a place that lives in our society’s imagination like no other, to illustrate what warfare actually looks like.1 And I think you should read this comic, both because its good and because it has something important to say.

Word count: 246

1: Personally, I've visited New York, and reading about these places I've been torn apart by war was really affecting.

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