DMZ: On The Ground – Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli

I have no trouble with suspension of disbelief. I need to make that clear before I explain why I didn’t like this graphic novel. I know that Wood is trying to help Americans get a feel of what it would be like to be in a war zone without making it too abstract by placing the story in, say, a place that has a war zone. And I know that wood, writing fiction, is going to invoke some artistic license. But the end result is too sloppy for me to appreciate. DMZ is about a photojournalist intern, Matthew Roth, who gets suck in the de-militarized zone that is Manhattan, New York City, during our country’s second civil war. So the USA is at war with itself, OK, fine, but Wood should be aware that a DMZ is usually a place where fighting came to a standstill due to intense resistance on both sides, in other words, a place of severe destruction. Thus, if you want to keep Manhattan as intact as it is here, it should not be the DMZ, especially considering the firepower invoked in this comic. Wood, perhaps you haven’t opened you eyes when you’ve been in my city, but the buildings are densely packed and a few fires, say caused by the dropping of “daisy cutter” ordinance, without a fully functioning fire department would be unstoppable. Also, check out the Central Park Zoo, as it is as beautiful as devoid of pandas. And why is it that whenever society collapses everyone dresses all punk? PS Manhattan has a population of about a million (twice that during the work day) and I doubt only half would leave/get killed when they were the front line. I guess I’m simply asking for the comic—which tries to be politically and socially relevant and adult oriented—to spend a little time making the concept work. If all this sounds too nitpicky, well, chalk it up to my spending too much time during the Yugoslavian civil war imagining what life would be like if such a situation happened here.