August 7th, 2006

kusanagi: sometimes it's true

DMZ vol #1

I recently bought DMZ vol #1: On the Ground by Brian Wood (brianwood), and I'm blown away by the quality of the artwork and the writing in this graphic novel. I've been a fan of Wood's since I first read The Couriers but DMZ has a depth of expression of political awareness that I think didn't manifest as well in some of the earlier works.

The story plunges into the middle of a future America engaged in the second Civil War. Green photojournalist Matty Roth gets dumped in Manhattan, now the DMZ (demilitarized zone), during a botched operation on his first day as an intern. He and his equipment manage to carve out an existence, and to broadcast stories, with a believable blend of adaptability and fallibility. The attention to geographic detail subtly enriches the story, grounding the settings for the reader who is less familiar with the locations than Wood obviously is. The combination of good will and self-interest that informs the responses of the DMZ denizens whom Matty encounters prevents the story from falling into the traps of doomsaying pessimism or saccharine optimism. If you like apocalyptic fiction (and you don't mind a bit of gore), buy this. I loved it.