Friday, November 18, 2011


Written by David Axe
Art by Steven Olexa

War-Fix is the last of the books that I picked up when I went out west this summer (yes, I am that far behind on my reading). I grabbed it in a used bookstore in Vancouver because it looked interesting.  As anyone who has read my reviews know, I have a thing for war comics, and am always interested in contemporary interpretations of war in comics.  I hadn't realized that the writer was the same person who wrote War is Boring: Bored Stiff, Scared to Death in the World's Worst War Zones, which I read about a year ago.

I quickly figured out that there was a relation here, as while I was reading this I was struck by some pretty strong comic book deja vu.  The two books are thematically very similar.  Axe's contention is that war is addictive, and simultaneously very boring, and as a reporter, he finds himself highly motivated to seek out combat situations.

In this book, Axe talks his way to an embed in Iraq, where he plans to cover the war.  He sees some action, but also spends a lot of time sitting around thinking about things.  I felt like not much happens in this book - it really only comes alive when Axe is speaking to a journalist for the BBC, who has covered some twenty wars in twenty years, and was almost executed in Croatia.

A big part of the problem with this book was that Olexa's page designs can be hard to follow.  This is a smaller, square-bound book, so double-page spreads have a habit of disappearing into the fold in the centre, making them difficult to recognize as double-page spreads.  And there really are a lot of double-page spreads.

This is an interesting book, but in the end not terribly memorable, and not as good as the more recent War is Boring.

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