Get your war on: comic strips
In early October 2001, David Rees posted eight comic strips on his website in which office workers discussed the War on Terrorism. The response was overwhelming. E-mails proliferated around the country as people, alternately thrilled or disgusted by "Get Your War On forwarded the URL to their friends. Since that night, the site has received more than thirty million hits, and Rees continues to add material that responds to the events of the past year-including the anthrax scare, the Enron scandal, John Ashcroft's detentions of suspected terrorists, the Department of Homeland Security, Israeli incursions and Palestinian suicide bombings, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's decision on the Pledge of Allegiance, to name a few. In a voice that combines the indignant, stentorian tones of rapper KRS-One with the cadences of David Mamet and the boldness of Tom Tomorrow, Rees zeros in on the deep psychic bruise that events in New York, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere have inflicted on our hearts. The nameless characters are at turns skeptical about the War on Terrorism, scared for their own safety in an age of anthrax scares and terror alerts, hungry for revenge against Osama bin Laden, bitter about the exploitation of September 11's horrors, and enthusiastic about the possibility of deadening their pain with alcohol. During a time when few were willing to share any but the noblest pieties with each other, Rees's characters are reflections of many American's true selves. Working with a deceptively limited palette of color (red), graphics (clip art of cubicle workers), and language (much of it four lettered), Rees succeeds in depicting a country of grieving, angry and confused citizens,feeling hatred for--and feeling the hatred of--the world beyond our shores. With "Get Your War On, Rees has illustrated better than any artist, politician, or pundit the true state of America's soul--its violence and its compassion. This Soft Skull edition contains the complete "Get Your War On strips from Rees's site as well as a substantial amount of new material. The author's royalties are being donated to Adopt-A-Minefield. Soft Skull Press is donating an additional royalty to the same organization. For more information about Adopt-A-Minefield's landmine relief work, visit www.landmines.org. David Rees's website may be viewed at www.getyourwaron.com.