Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Future: Far More Futuristic Than Originally Expected

The only cool thing about writing the Weekly Planet later than most everybody else this issue is that most of the grunt work's already been done for me on this week's libro numero uno -- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier -- as Unkie Dev's article stresses the paramount importance and unmitigated awesomeness of Messrs. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's new work rather nicely. Which frees me to review the following graphic novel I want you kids to read...

Shooting War
by Anthony Lappe & Dan Goldman

"I'll tell you 1 and 1 makes 3."
-Living Colour
It's 2011 and John McCain is president, America still writhes in an impossible quagmire in the Middle East, Dan Rather and Bill O'Reilly are kickin', gas is fifteen bucks a gallon, and terrorist cells are going at it a la The Invisbles by infiltrating the system from the inside (the popular video game of the moment is Infidel Massacre, secretly developed by the super tech savvy Abu Abdallah -- Big Mac chomping leader of The Sword of Mohammed). Jimmy Burns, small-time activist and hipster, witnesses and inadvertently video blogs the terrorist bombing of a Starbucks in Williamsburg. Global News Network pirates the footage, airing it and instantly propelling Jimmy to celebrity "journalist." On assignment embedded in Iraq's civil war, Jimmy finds himself in the midst of chaos and destruction, faking his way through the muck that we're currently helping create.

Were I a Hollywood jamook I'd pitchline Shooting War as Max Headroom meets DMZ.

Writer Anthony Lappe, unlike the majority of the punditocracy, has actualy been to Iraq, executive editing the Guerilla News Network's website and producing an award-winning documentary on the embattled nation called Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge. So he's got street cred in spades. Storytelling-wise -- his pacing, dialogue, and media savvy excel. Shooting War is damn harrowing, man. Dan Goldman's art, a technique combining photography, vector illustration, and digital painting is fluid and lucid. Unlike last week's pretty and gussied up Silver Surfer release, the reader can always tell what's going on and the story is only complimented more so by it's art. Congratulations, Dan. You're the only comicker I've ever to pull this style off WELL!

Shooting War was originally serialized online at ACT-I-VATE, but we should all rejoice this hip, relevant and important comic work is now available in a beautiful hardcover. It's accessible by the masses/mundanes and readily available for those of us book fetishists; just check out Dan's provocative cover!

The best compliment I got reading Shooting War on the train to work this morning was the lady next to me sucking her teeth and muttering under her breath why she had to be subjected to such filth. Guess my morning reading wasn't laced with enough pics of Brangelina for her. Good.

- Also of note: Southland Tales, Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly's long-awaited and much-ordealed second film hits theaters nationwide this week. And while many of you will flock to Beowulf (why must every genre film look exactly like Lord of the Rings mixed with a cauldron of 300-style violence? And, yes, I am very familiar with the Anglo-Saxon poem and its influence on Mr. Tolkien -- I'm just sick of Hollywood's exploitation of fantasy classics, and quite frankly need not see some uber-dude actor viciously behead the baddies while gnashing his teeth in front of a green screen for some time to come... ever again, really), I'll be checking out the former. Hope to see ya there. Oh, but make sure you've read Richard's prequel graphic novel first! It features the fantastic talents of artist Brett Wedele (I've gone so far as to have bought an original page from him for someone special to me!) and is sure to enhance the experience.

"How can you tell a network executive is lying? His lips move!"
-Max Headroom

Luv-luv-luv Love Ya,



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