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Get Your War on Paperback – October, 2002
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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About a month after 9/11, stiff little drawings of office workers talking on the phone about the developing war on terrorism appeared on Rees' Web site. They have proliferated since into a bitterly funny running commentary on what Rees obviously considers a profound waste of the human spirit, not to mention personnel, materiel, and money. The drawings are clip-art figures--the same handful used over and over, cropped, enlarged, and diminished--and they look eminently bland and middle-of-the-road, not a boat-rocking bunch. What Rees has coming out of their mouths, however, couldn't contrast more starkly: slash-and-burn cynicism, frothing with anger and fear, liberally peppered with the f-word, especially in participial form; in short, the kind of impotent, resentful, but intelligent bile hip youngsters might spout. The sheer incongruity of pictures and text provokes laughter, and references to trashy pop culture keep it coming. Rees' conceit that straight-arrow, would-be patriotic Americans are actually profoundly unnerved by Bush-administration policies as well as lethal fanaticism, however, ensures that one's laughter is satiric. Very smart protest stuff. Ray Olson
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I've tried to share this with my left-leaning sixty something mom and she just couldn't get past the profanity. I tried to share it with some left-leaning twenty somethings and they couldn't get past the clip art. I tried to share it with some politically conservative hipsters and they couldn't get past the politics.
So, sadly, a narrow demographic. But for that demographic, it just doesn't get much better. These are the kinds of WTF? conversations that you had with your friends after 9-11, trying to make sense of a world in which even the good guys seemed nuts. A world in which the question "Why do they hate us?" was answered in record speed with the trite "because of our freedom."
Get Your War On has all the emotions of the post 9-11 world: ambivalence, fear, dread, rah-rahing in spite of oneself, and finally resignation to living in a world that is dominated by religious extremists and misguided actors.
If you're reading this review, you likely know what Get Your War On is all about from looking at the strips at [...] So your last remaining question may be what the book's production values are like and whether it is worth buying. The answers are: very good and yes, buy it, the profits go to clearing mines in Afghanistan. Besides, it's more convenient to leave the book on your coffee table instead of a dedicated monitor displaying the comics from the website.
No holds barred!
A great read that will have you laughing aloud before shouting "seriously! WTF was that all about?!"