Comicsphere: DMZ by Brian Wood
I absolutely love this series. It never hits a wrong note and there is no fat on it whatsoever — from the first story onwards it hits the ground running and it makes you run alongside it. You know as you read this, as you fall in love with the characters, as you get to know them and through them the city — the reconfigured NY City of a Disunited America, that this is an important book with important things to say.
This really is the way to do this near future fiction — it allows you to dig in and discuss an issue that a straight historical take on what is going on at the moment wouldn’t allow. It might seem strange in some ways that so much revolutionary work is coming out in the medium of comics, or maybe not. It is a medium that seems to really be embracing its flexibility at the moment and the real torchbearers for the format are using the freedom that the combination of pictures and text allows to deliver stories that don’t pull the punches.
Will this ever get picked up as a film? Maybe, but it might get watered down. What we get here is something daring. This fictional journalism reads like real political commentary and the more of this kind of work that is out there the better. To have such a versatile platform from which to look at what is going on in the world today is a real gift and Wood never squanders that on cheap theatrics or broad strokes. Matty Roth, Zee, and New York are the main characters but everyone that you meet leaps off the page — this story doesn’t have any bit part characters — in the way that Roth’s reporting in the story aims to give the people of the DMZ a voice, so to does Wood’s narrative.
It’s easy to read, you never get bogged down in exposition, but you do feel like you are learning something. Important truths. Damn, what I am trying to say at the end of the day is go and buy these books.