Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gulf War Journal

by Don Lomax

I entered into this with no preconceived notions or expectations. I like a good war story, and this looked like one, so I figured I'd give it a try. I have heard of Lomax's earlier Vietnam War Journal, but don't know much about it. Anyway, this is a pretty good comic, mixing both a fictional story of a journalist trying to cover the early days of the Gulf War with a pretty detailed breakdown of events in the war, including some first person narratives of soldiers.

The protagonist, Scott Neithammer, is a retired journalist who had written some amazing stories during the Vietnam War. He is pulled out of retirement to travel to Saudi Arabia and cover Bush I's conflict with Saddam Hussein over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. At first he doesn't want to go, but then uses the opportunity to visit his semi-estranged daughter in Tel Aviv. Once in Saudi Arabia, Journal (as he is called) makes a pest of himself within the highly micro-managed press pools, and eventually sets out on his own (with his Sinhalese assistant/translator) to enter Kuwait.

The book constantly switches from Journal to reporting the war itself, and I like the context that this method provides. I was in high school during the Gulf War, and there is a lot of stuff included here that I never knew about. Lomax's art is quite serviceable, and he is able to draw the detailed military equipment very well. His tanks look like tanks, which is sometimes not that common.

Now I guess I'm going to be hunting down the Vietnam books too....

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