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Shooting War Hardcover – November 14, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A scathing near-future satire of the Iraqi occupation that rings with eerie plausibility, this Web comic-to-print hardcover collection follows a cocky young journalist named Jimmy Burns, who finds himself video-blogging across the front lines of Iraq in the year 2011. An accidental Internet celebrity transplanted suddenly to the Baghdad battlefields, Jimmy quickly progresses from arrogant to regretful, then jaded—in short, he is America in Iraq. As the world slowly disintegrates around him, Jimmy finds himself caught between the competing agendas of Muslim insurgents, the American military and a sensational cable news network as they all clamor for blood on the battlefields. Journalist and first-time graphic novelist Lappé takes obvious delight in skewering all three with a whip-smart, left-leaning indictment of both American media and foreign policy that offers little hope and fewer heroes. The bleak prognostications are cut with black humor and a penchant for explosions that keep the narrative moving. The collection adds 110 pages of new content to the Web version, and Goldman's art, a cinematic blend of photography and digital painting, is framed in widescreen panels that lend an air of video documentary to a grim graphic novel that manages to make media—and the truth—seem more fluid than ever. (Nov.)
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Review

"A scathing near-future satire of the Iraqi occupation that rings with eerie plausibility...The bleak prognostications are cut with black humor and a penchant for explosions that keep the narrative moving." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

"Astute, timely, entertaining...Predicts, in dramatic terms, the logical evolution of the war. Pundits say there's no good outcome. This book illustrates what that looks like." (Penthouse)

"Sharp, relevant and timely...It's, dare I say it, a webcomic for the rest of us." (The Beat Heidi MacDonald)

"The light-handed but searing political satire of SHOOTING WAR is taking the Sunday comic strip places it could never have gone before." (Village Voice Julian Dibbell)

"A scary-smart take on what the horrors of the future may hold." (Rolling Stone)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (November 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446581208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581202
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Although the author and illustrator say their graphic novel is a political satire that extrapolates current events regarding the Iraqi War, the Mexican immigration issue, and emerging technology as well as a healthy dose of politics, SHOOTING WAR is also a wonderfully compelling read. I was blown away by the storyline, the art, and the voice that comes from the material. I was also completely surprised by the appearance of news anchor Dan Rather and his hefty part in the graphic novel's plot and action.

Lappe and Goldman obviously know their material and believe in their message. They don't hold back and reach out viciously to grab the reader by the hair of the head and drag them through the harsh world they've created. I'd read a preview of the graphic novel almost three months ago, but even that failed to prepare me for the emotional and thought-provoking odyssey I was embarking on when I first began to turn pages.

The book actually started out as an on-line comic. Lappe had written a nonfiction book, TRUE LIES, with Stephen Marshall that focused on the disservice they believe the media is doing to the American people. Lappe is also the executive editor of GNN (Guerilla News Network), has written for a number of magazines and other media, and was the producer of the Showtime documentary about Iraq: BATTLEGROUND: 21 DAYS ON THE EMPIRE'S EDGE.

Goldman writes and draws the strip, KELLY, for [...] and co-authored the graphic novel, EVERYMAN: BE THE PEOPLE. His art is the result of a mixed media effort.

I liked the character of Jimmy Burns from the opening pages. He's just a big kid with a new toy, a wireless camera that allows him to video-blog from anywhere there's an internet connection.
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Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:28 Mins
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Format: Hardcover
Shooting War is an interesting, horrifying and superbly flawed work that envisions the Iraq War in the near future.

The story sees smartass liberal blogger Jimmy Burns, an angry twenty-something who accidentally films a suicide bombing in New York, recruited by the exploitive, exhibitionist Global News and sent to document the Iraq War. It's now 2011, with McCain in the White House and Iraq even worse-off than it is now, and Jimmy soon finds himself embroiled in a battle between a group of chic Marxist jihadists and a US army group led by a brutal, possibly insane war hero. Oh, and Dan Rather is in there, too.

The art is a mix of stylized drawings and what appear to be real pictures, and sometimes can be quite striking. The group of US soldiers, and their leader, "Colonel Crash," are most noteworthy, and it does a good job of depicting the havoc and chaos of this brutal war. It's not my favorite art ever, and I'm not sure it would've worked in a different book, where the frenetic and sometimes sloppy-looking style didn't serve the story, but it suits Shooting War fine.

The book also does a good job of characterizing its major players. Jimmy Burns is appropriately conflicted, going from an overconfident yuppie to a despondent and hopelessly depressed kid realizing how far in over his head he is to something of wiser veteran journalist by the end. That last transformation comes a little abruptly, and his story arch is a fairly typical coming-of-age type story, but once again, it's done well-enough. If the piece has true villains, they'd be Colonel Crash, an evangelical extremist and a brutal war criminal, and the leader of the jihadist group Sword of Mohammed, who styles himself as a twenty-first century Che Guevera, beret and all.
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Format: Hardcover
Shiny, pretty, without too many words, Shooting War takes a look at the war, at our media, at the corporate take over of our country without taking itself too seriously. Hiding behind animation, Shooting War is able to face, head on, the brutality of the war without any danger of becoming a sensationalistic blood fest.

Makes a great gift for any socially active person!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written as a commentary on the present and future of journalism, this near-future graphic novel explores a videoblogger's experiences in Iraq. The book began as a webcomic. It's interesting to compare the web-based version with the print version. Both combine some interesting visual elements combining ink drawings with digital photographs and other images. Intended for mature readers (ages 16+), the comic format is filled with violence and profanity to make its point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lappe & Goldman's "Shooting War" is a fast-paced, gorgeously illustrated rollercoaster ride through a predicted future of the state of war in the Middle East. The hypothesis is that the conflict won't be over by 2011 (of course, it has been going on, "with or without" the USA for decades) and a video-blogger, Jimmy Burns, gets his big break with a very "lucky" live feed of the explosive destruction of a local Starbucks. We follow Burns, a limelight-chasing media newbie, in his quick rise to fame to the warzone in the Middle East itself. His experiences prove that life doesn't just exist through the lens, but that it's happening all around him and TO him, but he is there to do a job, hence the only way he is permitted to survive in such a volatile place is by way of his camera. Lappe's story gets a little confusing at times, but moves very quickly and is chock-full of warning. But it's Goldman's illustrations that are the star of the show, mixing real photography and digital drawings on two-page spreads that make one look away due to the occasional gore. It's a beautifully executed book and well worth the small price.
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