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Army of God: Joseph Kony's War in Central Africa Paperback – March 12, 2013


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Army of God: Joseph Kony's War in Central Africa + The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted + First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Unlike fellow war reporters Ted Rall and Joe Sacco, who are also cartoonists, Axe collaborates with a different artist on each of his comics projects. Hamilton may be the best he has ever worked with. The story is bigger than before, as well. It began in the 1980s when erstwhile altar boy Joseph Kony turned his own religious movement into the Lord’s Resistance Army, vicious guerrillas roaming central Africa, sadistically destroying whole villages and kidnapping children to make them soldiers after sexually abusing them. Though greatly reduced in numbers, the Army is still rampant. In the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010, Axe interviewed a young teacher, two priests, and a 13-year-old girl who escaped the LRA. Axe tells those informants’ stories, sketches Kony and his band, and describes the recently more organized—thanks to U.S. technical aid pushed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—hunt for Kony, as well as the somewhat unstable state of that effort in 2012. Hamilton’s assured and detailed black-and-white brushwork art impressively maintains a serious, even dark atmosphere throughout. --Ray Olson

Review

Kirkus Reviews
“The artistic rendering of rape and slaughter is as powerful as it is horrific, and the narrative hits hardest on an individual, human level in the chapter about a young girl, kidnapped by the LRA and forced into “marriage,” and the ongoing trauma after she was rescued at age 13.”

Booklist

“Axe…sketches Kony and his band, and describes the recently more organized—thanks to U.S. technical aid pushed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—hunt for Kony, as well as the somewhat unstable state of that effort in 2012. Hamilton’s assured and detailed black-and white-brushwork art impressively maintains a serious, even dark atmosphere throughout.”

Pop Matters
”Axe’s telling, in the introductory essay as well as in the comics portion, is uncompromising, and Army of God calls for a commitment on behalf of the reader… Army of God‘s silhouettes and shadowing… keep the blunt nightmare in focus while offering Hamilton an opportunity to exercise tactful restraint in the account’s more disturbing depictions.”

Metro (UK)
"Immediate and intimate… An invaluable guidebook to the conflict for the many millions who've so far viewed the Jason Russell documentary Kony 2012 on YouTube."
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Product Details

  • Series: Army of God
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Trade Paper Edition, Graphic Novel edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161039299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610392990
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,107,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gordon McAlpin on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The information in this book is important and harrowing, of course, and the artwork is wonderful, but the scripts never get the reader inside the heads of the participants or give us any insight into the lived experience of these horrific events. Frequently the subjects even go unnamed (though a few are identified in a "Dramatis Personae" section -- in the back of the book), as if their identities are unimportant details. We are passive, distant observers; we are not THERE. We don't get the survivors' perspective at all. What is the point of using the comic book medium, if not to take advantage of the immediacy it gives you?

Ultimately, Army of God is a decent collection of anecdotes, rotely adapted into comics. Axe's approach fails to take advantage of the medium in any conceivably way; the pictures add nothing to Axe's perspective, and worse, Axe's chosen perspective adds nothing to the story he is telling. Why is it a comic at all? Sacco's work feels like several hundred of page of research distilled into a couple hundred pages -- the pictures provide volumes of information, and it's all from a perspective you can't get anywhere else: that of the people the events of each of his books have affected most. This book feels like a magazine feature padded up to 100 pages. It's not that he isn't Joe Sacco, or that he isn't writing enough like Joe Sacco; Axe is just not telling this story in a compelling way. He may be a great journalist, but he is not a good comics writer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who actually works on this stuff as a scholar, I wasnt sure what to expect, but I get all books on this subject just for reference. And I must say I was thoroughly impressed. First off, its about managing expectations. This is NOT a scholarly academic or journalistic book,but a "graphic novel." But as such, yes, it does a good job of capturing the main points of the issue in a very interesting and captivating way. I would recommend for youth readers or those who wouldnt ordinarily read up on such things, in order to generate interest. As someone with little experienc reading comics or graphic novels, it has made me wonder about similar such works that tell the story of other real-world events in this manner.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy R. Shaw on April 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For some reason the Kindle version of this graphic novel does not allow you to zoom into the book. The text is too small to read, so the entire purchase is a waste of time.

This rating is for the Kindle version rather than the content of the book. I cannot read it to provide a judgement.
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By jim on May 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't realize it was a comic book. I really wanted to learn more about this "son of a ___" but didn't enjoy the format.
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