Review – War Is Boring
David Axe is a journalist and with that you’d expect going to shit holes around the world would deliver stories that are absolutely amazing and made for the pages of a graphic novel. Instead War Is Boring just teases that excitement and instead shows a life that’s pretty unglamorous.
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. Meanwhile, 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. He had begun his sojourn as a “war tourist.” But the next four years turned David into a deeply political man – his work became less about him and more about the true victims of the world’s conflicts. 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.
I could come up with all kinds of metaphors for this graphic novel based on journey’s but Axe’s story isn’t really about the wars he’s covering but instead a look at his growth as a person. His relationships suffer, his money situation doesn’t improve and much like the victims he covers his life goes more to shit the more he covers them.
It’s a fascinating spiral of a war correspondent. He might have started as a tourist but in the end he’s as emotionally invested as those involved in the conflicts he covers. There’s a great story here and fascinating tale for those interested in politics, war and journalism.
Plot: Axe could have easily glamorized his life as a journalist in the world’s shit holes, but instead he focuses on his growth which is really the more amazing plot narrative. You see his evolution as a disconnected tourist into a vested journalist attempting to bring attention to the world’s issues. It’s a great transformation and one I wasn’t expecting. Rating: 8.5
Art: The are is done by Matt Bors in an interesting style you’d find more of a political cartoonist. The art isn’t as detailed or refined as you’d expect a comic book artist to bring to the table, but this fits so much more towards the political cartoonist end of the spectrum in the story. It fits pretty well, though can’t say it really knocks it out of the park. Rating: 7.5
Overall: The story here is an important one as it shines a light not on the conflicts going on around the world, but those who cover those conflicts. We see Axe’s growth as an individual and his growing investment into the stories he covers. It’s a great read. Rating: 8
Page count: 124 pages Price: $12.95 Release: Out Now