There are people all over the world living in a war zone right now. With our pampered Western lifestyles it is easy for us to ignore their plight. Art has always drawn attention to difficult subjects and there have been several graphic novels that have raised this subject and tried to get us to see what life is like for these people.
DMZ takes a different approach and imagines New York as a war zone. Districts and landmarks known the world over are bombed and occupied. Cleverly this isn’t by some foreign invading force it is easy to hate but rather as a result of an American civil war. You get to see what life is like after Americans drop bombs on populated areas.
Whilst a highly political work, like all war reportage, it’s the human stories that touch you. We follow photographic intern Matt Roth as he is stranded in Manhattan’s Demilitarised Zone. These are short stories of the things he sees, people he meets and his struggle to stay alive. This work is meticulously researched, expertly imagined and skilfully told. An opening news report on the first page tells you everything you need to know to get up to speed in this alternate world.
The art is great. Lots of detail, lots of subdued tones punctuated by fire and explosion. Realistic and expressive faces, dynamic action and a tangible atmosphere of unease and uncertainty.
This is a great work that grips you and won’t let go. It doesn’t smother you with its politics but educates you as to how you could be living if you had simply been born somewhere else.
A genuine Double Thumbs Up!!
Tomorrow: DMZ: (2) Body of a Journalist – Brian Wood