Back in 2006 it seemed unlikely that John McCain would earn the Republican nomination for President of the United States, but when journalist Anthony Lappe
and artist Dan Goldman
set out to create a near-future world for their graphic novel Shooting War
they decided to imagine just what a McCain Presidency might look like in 2011 and their forecast is dark with more than a few scattered showers.
Shooting War began as a web comic at SMITH magazine
in May of 2006, and was completed as a hardbound graphic novel that was published in November of last year. The book tells the story of video blogger extraordinaire Jimmy Burns. In the story, Burns is thrown into the spotlight after he happens to capture a New York City terrorist attack with his live-streaming video camera. He soon finds himself reporting from Iraq as the newest addition to the fictional cable news outlet, Global News Network.
After arriving in Baghdad, Burns quickly finds himself enmeshed with the terrorist cell, Sword of Mohammed, as both Burns and Lappe explore the possible root causes behind the War on Terror. Along the way, he encounters not only lust, but love as well. He discovers first hand what propels the mainstream media's thirst for coverage in a war-torn Iraq, and legendary journalist Dan Rather makes a special cameo as a sort of mentor for the fresh-faced Burns.
Like any good graphic novel, Shooting War left me turning page after page in one long marathon session before I finally devoured its satisfying ending. It's an entertaining book, but it's also informative and filled with interesting predictions for where things may be headed. Goldman's graphic approach to the story is simultaneously classic and hyper-modern; the art was composed digitally, and like V for Vendetta, it is arguably an artistic evolution in comic art.
Perhaps the most interesting element of Shooting War is its depiction of US foreign relations in 2011, and the predictions that Anthony makes about what the future may hold.… Read more