“War is Boring” is a new graphic novel by David Axe and Matt Bors. David Axe has been writing articles for offiziere.ch for about two years. He is a freelance war correspondent based in South Carolina, who reported in the past from Iraq, Lebanon, East Timor, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chad and other conflict zones. In September 2010 he is going to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to report from there and to write a new graphic novel. Matt Bors is a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist and illustrator based in Oregon. He is in Afghanistan at the moment with two other cartoonists, Ted Rall and Steven Cloud posting sketches and comics to his blog every day. I like David’s stories and Matt’s drawings. Together they released “War is Boring” about David’s trips, his experiences and his mixed feelings about it. “War is Boring” could be the unofficial successor of David’s first graphic novel “War Fix“, drawed by Steven Olexa. The story in “War Fix” impressed me but I didn’t like the drawing that much. This is different from “War is Boring”: David and Matt are together a great combination. The question first arose in “War Fix” is still the same: why is David that addicted to war zones? Did he choose war or was he chosen by the war? Maybe he regularly needs a kick of adrenaline, by the way a typical syndrome, also known in other jobs with extreme peaks of danger, pressure and uncertainty. Like a firefighter needs serious fires from time to time or a paramedic has to have a major disaster, David is attracted to war torn countries. It’s not because he loves war, it’s because in situations of deadly danger, he feels alive. An excellent expression of such a situation is displayed on front cover of his book: he is the quiet eye of the storm in the middle of a battleground. In his graphic novel he describes the thrilling experiences reporting from the middle of an ongoing war. This excitement has its price: back home he noticed the boring normality. By carefully reading this novel, you will recognize that the situation can not only be described in terms of “black or white”. Most part of the time in Iraq he felt bored. In Libanon the situation was calm and back then the UNIFIL troops were more interested in easy lifestyle then in their duty. East Timor seems to have been a very depressing experience, in Afghanistan the corruption was disillusioning and to take the girlfriend to Somalia wasn’t maybe the best idea. David tells us: “War is Boring”, but peace is stultifying.
When I dedicated myselfe to a hobby or a job, I plunged myselfe completly into it – for example, my old passion for information technology. I went to all the underground meetings and spent my time doing things which, maybe, weren’t always smart. Due the fact that information technology has become very common today, the appeal has disapeard and maybe because of that I felt also a little bit bored about it. Five years ago I found my new interest in security, foreign and military policy. In view of this I have been searching for a mission or a job abroad for two or three years. When I was finally a week in Libanon this spring (yes, I call that holidays), maybe I felt also a little bit like what David described in his book. Of course, Libanon is today most of the time a safe place, but it’s another culture, and unknown situations have their own thrill. Was my trip to Lebanon perhabs my own first step, my first harmless dose of addiction to conflict zones? I hope, I will be able to answer this question by next year. Anyway, I would recommend “War is Boring” to all who are thinking about going to a military or civil mission abroad because David and Matt give you a good first impression about. The story shows you an inside view of a “Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was“. I’ve already heard that when someone takes part in a dangerous mission or witnesses an assault, their personality could change. Perhabs David’s story in this graphic novel will finally prove that to you.
“War is Boring”: bored stiff, scared to death in the world’s worst war zones, 135 pages, available at Amazon.