DMZ: On the Ground


Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Brian Wood
Illustrator: Riccardo Burchielli (it’s his first American comic!)
Plot: In the not-so-distant-future (a bit of a cliché, I know), America is engulfed in chaos. Occupied with expensive wars abroad, the U.S. government ignored dissent at home. Left unchecked, it resulted in an armed uprising led by Middle America. These “Free States” pushed the U.S. government back to the coasts, eventually coming to a standstill in New York — in particular, Manhattan, or as the rest of the world knows it, the DMZ.

This is where Matty Roth comes in. He’s a phototech intern who is working as a lowly assistant to a famous photojournalist. When his boss is assigned to cover the living conditions in Manhattan, Roth goes with him. It’s supposed to be a straightforward assignment, but as soon as they land in the city, everything goes completely wrong. Their helicopter is attacked, and Roth is the only one that survives. Now he has a choice: try and escape Manhattan, or stay and cover the DMZ as the only embedded journalist in the entire city.

Verdict: Excellent. This graphic novel is incredible. The story and illustrations have natural grit that (at least in my opinion) really captures the brutal nature of war. Couple that with the fact that the fighting is going on in one of the most famous cities in the world, and you have an engaging setting to say the least. Folks that are little unfamiliar with journalism may not identify with Roth, but anyone who has dreamed of seeing their name in print and lived the life of a menial intern can really appreciate the character. Overall, this shit is addictive. Pick it up ASAP.

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