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The White Donkey: Terminal Lance Hardcover – April 19, 2016
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Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation 2017 James Webb Award One of Barnes & Noble's Best Comic and Graphic Novels of 2016
One of The Los Angeles Times' 10 Most Important Books of 2016
"It was 2010 when Uriarte, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps, created the online comic 'Terminal Lance,' which swiftly developed a fan base. Using some of the same characters, he created a more serious and involved graphic novel, THE WHITE DONKEY, based on his 2007 deployment in Iraq."
―Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times
"A masterpiece."―Ray Olson, Booklist (starred review)
"Combines a casual, straightforward dramatic style with clear, no-frills art that draws readers into his characters' everyday experiences and then wallops them with the tragedy of ordinary life...Both respectful to the military and its role and sympathetic to the delicacy of the young soldiers, the story's power lies in a middle-ground view of the ongoing social conflict, seeking to bridge understanding on both sides."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In many ways, The White Donkey is one long illustrated deployment journal.... Yet, tucked into the panels and frames, are those singular moments that, like a rock cast into a pond, send their ripples out almost infinitely-altering lives and ending others. The White Donkey follows the tremors, backwards and forwards, and manages to illustrate what feels like a 'true' war story and a lonely chapter in a war our country is trying desperately to forget."―The Washington Post
"Few books pack the punch of The White Donkey. Uriarte has a genius for details that illuminate the truth and pull you into the story with cinematic fervor. He uses the art form itself to punctuate his pacing and immerse you in the inner reality of a marine's life.... Uriarte puts it all on the page for a story that is hardcore and haunting. A brilliant addition to wartime literature. A+"―JeriAnn Geller, Booktrib
"In The White Donkey, a sense of alienation pervades Abe's experience. He endures the tedium of war, the yearning for action to gain legitimacy in the eyes of fellow Marines, and, finally, the horror of combat... all drawn with stylized realism."―The Wall Street Journal
"A vivid and gripping tale.... For my brother Marines: this book is mandatory.... And for our civilian friends that are always asking, 'What's it like in the Corps?' this book will help you to understand. Even more importantly, it could help you help someone who may have returned to the civilian world with invisible wounds."―John Absalom, Maui Time
"Spiked with bitter and obscene humor, this debut and first-ever graphic novel about the Iraq War from a veteran reveals the cynical tedium of daily life in combat and how voluntary service can lead to an existential crisis of self-blame. Compelling."―Martha Cornog, Library Journal
"A palpable reminder of how text and art can craft an unspoken, and in a sense, indescribable narrative power."―Narrative Species
"The White Donkey examines our expectations of war according to what the media has showed us. Uriarte is concerned with how the war impacts people who are expected to transition back to a civilian world that understands the conflict in terms of The Hurt Locker and American Sniper."―Matt Young, The Rumpus
"This book hits you right in the gut. If you've ever wondered what it's like to serve in the Marine Corps and the experience of deployment in a war-torn country like Iraq, this book will help you understand."―Carolyn Koh, Boing Boing
"This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the Iraq War, and how difficult it is for our veterans to readjust to civilian life."―Whitney Smyth, Portland Book Review
"The White Donkey is nearly impossible to put down. As we root for characters that seem unflinchingly true to life, Abe's story remains gripping right up to the very last emotionally charged page."―The Santa Fe Reporter
"Uriarte has grasped at powerful mysteries-about what drives young people to join the military and willingly confront danger, about the experience of trauma and grief, and about friendship-and by the end of the book, has given us a portrait of one man's lonely, courageous attempt to come to terms with these mysteries."―Temple Cone, The Washington Free Beacon
About the Author
The White Donkey was written and illustrated by infantry Marine and Iraq veteran Maximilian Uriarte, creator of the hit comic strip "Terminal Lance." Uriarte enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006 at the age of 19 and served for four years. During his first deployment to Iraq in 2007 he served as an MRAP turret gunner and dismount of India Company's "Jump" platoon in the Zaidon region southeast of Fallujah. He deployed to Iraq again in 2009 as a billeted Combat Photographer and Combat Artist, then enrolling in California College of the Arts. In 2010 Uriarte created the popular comic strip "Terminal Lance" while still on active duty. The strip is now published in The Marine Corps Times and has grown immensely in popularity, with 450,000 Facebook followers and one million unique hits per month.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a story that will stay with you, and well worth the Kickstarter delays.
After seeing what I donated, I almost feel as though I cheated the author and his staff.
This is the first book in a long time, that actually caused me to feel something.
The art is well done. There are some interesting things done with color palette that add a little more depth in a subtle way.
The story is really what it's all about though. It is written in 'Marine language' which helps you sort of get immersed in the story. For me that, with the colors and all brought back the smells and sounds of my time in Iraq in 2003. The climax of the story kinda sneaks up on you when you least expect it which adds to both the impact and the realism. The 13 years since I came home seemed to melt away and that smell of stale trash and diesel fumes was back. There is some real emotional power in this book. Every grunt should get it, especially if you were in Iraq.
As for the book itself - the artwork is great, the dialog is authentic, paper is high quality - hell, who am I kidding? I don't know how to write a book review. Buy the book, support a great artist and author, and learn about the Iraq war in a way nobody has told it before.
The story, though, is what is the most important part, and Max really nailed it. He tells a story of the Marine Corps, the story of war, the story of PTSD, the story of the divide between civilians and veterans, and the story of the veteran suicide crisis. And he packs it all into a deeply personal narrative that shines through and, with some of the graphic scenes of combat and other artwork, really hits the reader on a visceral level.
I laughed at the inside jokes. I could feel the anger Abe had at his lieutenant in the moment he talked about combat action ribbons. And I was incredibly sad during one of the book's pivotal scenes. Yes, "The White Donkey" made me weep for a cartoon character.
This is an amazing work. It goes beyond the simple narrative of a novel and illustrates the many scenes in incredible detail, and ultimately tells a story that both Marines and civilians will love, and be able to reflect upon for years to come.