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Press: Shooting War in the News

“[A] satire that could serve as the Apocalypse Now of the War on Terrorism, told in the form of a brilliantly rendered graphic novel….This is a winner. But hopefully not prophetic.” – Forbes.com

In addition to making numerous “Best of 2007″ lists, SHOOTING WAR was called “the book of year” by Forbidden Planet International, one of the “100 best things in the world” by British GQ and “one of the best reviewed books of the year” by Canada’s National Post. SHOOTING WAR has been covered by more than 50 print and online outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, New York Post, Financial Times, Times of London, Globe & Mail (Canada), The Guardian (UK), GQ, British GQ, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Penthouse, San José Mercury News, Wired.com and Forbes.com. In addition, SHOOTING WAR authors have been featured on NPR, Air America Radio, WNYC, KPFK, Channel Five News (UK), Sky News (UK), New England Cable News, among numerous radio and television outlets. A more or less full list with links is below. Media contact info at the bottom of the page:

Latest coverage:

Brooklyn Rail, “Graphic Novel: Hipster in a Hail of Bullets”
“Smart, topical, and entertaining, Shooting War exemplifies an exciting direction in comic books.”

SHOOTING WAR was recently optioned by a leading London-based production company to develop into a TV mini-series:

Shooting War: The Movie?
Blockbuster Buzz, Times of London Online, Feb. 13, 2008
Shooting War, the bleakly cynical look at a near-future war that began life as an online strip, before morphing into a graphic novel, is about to change its form again. The Forbidden Planet blog is today reporting that Dan Goldman and Anthony Lappe’s creation has now been optioned as a feature film. The web comic always had a somewhat cinematic, or televisual, feel, with the shape of the frames carefully chosen to feel like it was an HDTV news broadcast beamed in from the future. It’ll be interesting to see which details from the ground breaking strip survive in the movie. Will John McCain be the President in 2011? Will the producers dare to bomb a branch of Starbucks in the first scene?”

Power options ‘Shooting War’
Comics2Film – Feb 20, 2008
“London based independent producer Power, is developing a brand new state-of-the-art TV series on the war on terror, the media and the rise of ‘citizen journalism’.”

‘Shooting War’ thriller to become series
Digital Spy – Feb 21, 2008
Shooting War, by Anthony Lappé, is a dark thriller about a young writer who gets caught up in the international situation.”

Lappe hopes Shooting War becomes TV series
Comics2Film – Feb 2, 2008
“While speaking at the Library of Congress, Anthony Lappe answered a question about continuing the story of his character Jimmy Burns from his graphic novel ‘Shooting War’. Lappe said that he’s working on the character becoming a TV show with individual …”

Austinist.com “Taking Aim At Shooting War”
“Originally published as a serialized web comic on smithmag.net, Shooting War transitions seamlessly to the printed page. Dan Goldman’s art is simply breathtaking, blending photographs with computer art and hand drawings. The resulting collage effect sharpens the story’s satirical edge.”

Locus Magazine “Best of 2007″
“Shooting War by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman is its visceral SF counterpart, as different from the wordless world of Tan as possible and yet just as effective with near-future speculations about the Iraq War.”

San José Mercury News “Best of 2007: Graphic Novels”
“Shooting War strikes nerves, but uses a stiletto, not a jackhammer, to get its points across.”

Reason Magazine “Iraq 2011″
“The novel’s theme…seems fated to become increasingly relevant as time goes on. Shooting War tells us that an imperial America’s interactions with the rest of the world are apt to get more and more messy, in unpredictably weird ways, and that our techniques and styles of communicating about it will continue to evolve in reaction to those constantly changing circumstances.”

Los Angeles Times “Graphic novels explore the Middle East and Islam”
“Comics require terse language describing larger-than-life circumstances. (Speech bubbles are small; Ming the Merciless is over the top.) This fits the mess in the Middle East. The terseness cuts through the doublespeak — lies hide better in 1,000 words than in 20. The extreme descriptions fit the chaos. Funny how it’s literature that is escapist and comics that are facing things head on.”

Mother Jones “Shooting War: Journalism for Cool Dudes”
“Shooting War is a wild, somewhat adolescent, ride through combat, imperialism, and capitalism that had me eagerly flipping pages…”

Forbidden Planet International “Best of the Year 2007″
“Shooting War was the absolute revelation of the year. Coming out of nowhere, this book is a jaw-dropping portrayal of American aggression in the Middle East, a mix of political satire, war reportage and near-future science fiction. But it’s no bland treatise on the evils of US imperialism either. It’s a sharp political satire and a fast paced action adventure tale with a message as deeply embedded as the reporters involved. Quite brilliant…Even as I was writing this review I found myself reliving the book. It’s now had the third reading and is just as good, just as exciting, just as incendiary as the first time round. It’s quite simply the book of the year.

Village Voice “A Year in Comics and Graphic Novels”
“Goldman’s desert-landscape screen-grabs and kinetic graphics rush to keep pace with Lappé’s balls-out script.”

The Globe & Mail (Canada)
“[A] sharply observed political and media satire…It is a scary but believable near future, when Dan Rather is out in the field, texting and iChatting with the unfortunate hero, and the army has a remote battlefield infantry division consisting of young recruits in cubicles playing PS4, which controls ground-based offensive robots. Even throwaway details are biting: A bombing in Bangalore causes President McCain to declare a state of emergency due to crippled customer-service hotlines.”

National Post (Canada)
“[O]ne of the best reviewed books of the year.”

The New York Times
“Crossover Dreams: Turning Free Web Work Into Real Book Sales”
The Times’ publishing correspondent Motoko Rich covers Shooting War’s road from web to print.

GQ U.S. Edition (December)
The Essentials 07 list: “What everyone should be talking about”

GQ British Edition (December)
100 Best Things in the World: #40

New York Post
“‘Shooting War’ is a bracing take on bad-case scenarios for near-future Iraq. It should interest comics fans looking for a different direction for their form, and all fans of contemporary political thrillers – though those opposed to the Iraq war are more apt to find this graphic novel’s tone and attitude congenial.”

Forbes.com
“Shooting War is a satire that could serve as the Apocalypse Now of the War on Terrorism, told in the form of a brilliantly rendered graphic novel….This is a winner. But hopefully not prophetic.”

Bookslut.com
“[I]n the end, the success of Shooting War comes down to its protagonist. Burns isn’t the most sympathetic character ever, and in making him morally ambiguous, in putting him into contact with Muslim extremists, ordinary Iraqis, military glory hounds, and other representative groups, Lappé and Goldman operate from a context complex enough for Shooting War to serve not just as incendiary and necessary but as something with more depth than didacticism. It’s unlikely Shooting War will change anyone’s mind about the war, but it might clear from at least a few minds the rhetoric of righteousness and hypocrisy. At the very least — and this is the least of the things Shooting War does best — it’s an entertaining and provocative war correspondent story. Because reading this for the entertainment value is a little like a right-winger rocking out to early U2.”

Wired.com
“The book version looks nothing short of spectacular, reveling in a near-future (2011) technological distopia where the global war on terror rages further and further out of control, lurching ever closer to apocalyptic fulfillment.”

St. Petersburg Times
“[G]ripping, scary and often painfully funny…Lappe and Goldman take few prisoners, aiming their satire at mainstream media and the blogosphere alike, finding both madness and courage in the heat of battle. War itself is one target of Shooting War. But it’s also a critique of how much – or how little – we know about the wars fought in our name.”

Boston Metro
“A mix of both biting satire and dark prognostication written last year, the book has pulled closer to current events than Lappe and illustrator Dan Goldman’s cell-shaded vision had ever intended.”

Observer/Guardian, UK
“[A] lively piece of speculative fiction about a reporter’s experiences in Baghdad in 2011, when things are even worse than they are now. The writing is witty and appropriately gonzo, with all the moral ambiguity that implies.”

SFStation.com
“By his own admission, Jimmy is out of his element. He confesses that the riskiest thing he’s done is ‘wasting a year shagging underfed anarchists, doing second rate coke, and whining about evil corporations on jackass.com.’ It is this sort of self-mockery that makes Shooting War an enjoyable documentary. Even the bloggers recognize their own mis-directed self-importance…The panels also show attention to lighting and framing: characters are displayed in rim light or extreme close-ups when the drama heightens, and the plot provides cut-aways when you need to breathe. It’s all there: our nation’s desire to be televised at all times, and our infatuation with two-dimensional imagery when the three-dimensional imagery needs our help. Take a look.”

Alternet.com
“Shooting War, a graphic novel set in Iraq in the year 2011, has been chilling readers and making headlines about its vivid and surreal depiction of the war zone.”

BookFetish.com
“The artwork was quite lifelike and I felt sucked in as if I was part of the story and like any good movie, I had to yell at the book for the main characters to get out of the gunfire.”

Newsweek
“For this horrifying vision of the future we can thank journalist Anthony Lappe and graphic artist Dan Goldman, co-authors of ‘Shooting War,’ (Grand Central Publishing) a stunningly rendered graphic novel that manages to stick a red-hot skewer into the war on terror, Islamic jihad, the mainstream media and the antiestablishment blogosphere in one fell swoop.”

New York Press
“Goldman employs his own multimedia approach…giving it a realistic intensity…[Lappé] injects much-needed dark humor and satire into the story.”

Weekly Planet - newsletter for the Forbidden Planet NYC
“[W]e should all rejoice this hip, relevant and important comic work is now available in beautiful hardcover. It’s accessible to the masses/mundanes and readily available for those of us book fetishists.”

The Bryant Park Project with Alison Stewart (NPR)
“Graphic Novel Fires on the Culture at Will.” Listen here.

Daily Candy
“Alongside commentary on celebrity, terrorism, and the blogerati are snapshots of New York media (New York columns, irreverent Dan Rather quotes, Post headlines). The visuals brilliantly blend digital illustration, photography, painting, and collage. And the book will fit nicely between your copy of The Shadow and Superman #423: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. Obviously.”

USA Today picks Shooting War as its Big Graphic Novel of the Fall
“Why it’s big: What started as a subversively buzz-worthy online comic on Smithmag.net now comes to print as an expanded hardcover with new material. And Lappe, executive editor for Guerrilla News Network, knows Iraq: He produced Battleground:21 Days on the Empire’s Edge, a 2004 documentary.”

Publishers Weekly
“Journalist and first-time graphic novelist Lappé takes obvious delight in skewering all three with a whip-smart, left-leaning indictment of both American media and foreign policy that offers little hope and fewer heroes. The bleak prognostications are cut with black humor and a penchant for explosions that keep the narrative moving. The collection adds 110 pages of new content to the Web version, and Goldman’s art, a cinematic blend of photography and digital painting, is framed in widescreen panels that lend an air of video documentary to a grim graphic novel that manages to make media-and the truth-seem more fluid than ever.”

Read an interview with Lappé and Goldman in Publisher’s Weekly.

Men.Style.com (GQ)
“Think Children of Men, but if Clive Owen was a blogger.”

New York Magazine online
“Today on the Comics Page, we’re proud to present an excerpt from Shooting War, an expansion of the acclaimed Webcomic by Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman. Fierce, shocking, over-the-top, and wickedly smart, the new and improved book will be published later this month by Grand Central Publishing.”

Paper (November 2007)
“While Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman’s ambitious new graphic novel Shooting War takes places in a dystopian 2011 – where President McCain keeps the Iraq war raging, jihadists are blowing up Starbucks, and the news networks are busy dissecting Jaime Lynn Spears-Dallas Cowboys sex scandal – it doesn’t read like science fiction. ‘You really can’t make this stuff up,’ says Lappé, who covered the war in Iraq as a journalist. ‘Actually, you can, but then reality beats you to the punch line.’”

Financial Times, London
“[Dan Goldman] employs the computer to the full, overlaying figures on photo backgrounds and manipulating everything with software effects. The result is an eye-frazzling, mind-warping collage, like a sequence of Banksy murals, all aglow with doomy orange hues…The satire is ferocious. At one point a soon-to-be Islamic martyr scoffs junk food, saying, ‘This burger makes me feel sated yet vaguely disgusted with myself. What I imagine it feels like to be an American every day.’ Moments like this, both terrifyingly plausible and plausibly terrifying, abound, as Lappe extrapolates from current events to warn how White House foreign policy may well take us all to hell. Originally free online, this strip deserves its enshrinement between hard covers.”

Huffington Post
“As much a statement about the television media than a statement about the war, I’d say Shooting War is dystopian but its tough-in-cheek commentary often mirrors reality closely. The dystopia, in other words, is now…[B]uy the hardcover book that’ll make you look smart if you put it on your coffee table…You read Maus in high school… it’s time to expand your graphic novel horizons!”

Penthouse (December 2007)
“[W]e are drawn into its cruel action almost against our will…Written by journalist and filmmaker Anthony Lappé and vividly rendered by artist Dan Goldman, this astute, timely graphic novel exposes the brutality of war as well as the insipid way mainstream media reports it.”

Wall Street Journal
“Comic books had already made the transition from print to Web. Now they’re crossing back as publishers roll out printed books based on Web comics.”

The Daily Crosshatch (11/05/07)
For its all of its moments of near-future dystopia, Shooting War is less a message of what the media and the Iraqi quagmire could be than an allegory for what they–and by extension, we–already are, and while it happily embraces moments of levity and violent fetishism (it is a piece of entertainment, after all), its lessons still cut like a knife.

AppScout (8/31/07)
“It’s an interesting business model, and another example of how the Web comic has quickly become the heir apparent to the photocopied mini-comic (itself something of an off-shoot of ‘zine culture). Make a big enough splash with your series on the Web, and the book companies will beat a path to your studio door.”

Forbidden Planet International (8/29/07)
“Among the mail waiting for me when I returned from my break this week was something rather special – a sampler from Weidenfeld & Nicolson…Dan [Goldman] captures this disparity between a surface impression of normality juxtaposed with sudden, shocking events very well, his art sometimes portraying a perfectly normal scene such as downtown USA then throwing the reader into a hideous event like a terrorist bombing with shocking force…Remarkably Anthony had never penned a script for a comic before Shooting War… Despite this I thought he did a hell of a job – and what a heavyweight subject matter to tackle for your first venture into comics storytelling. The fact that Anthony is a reporter and has actually been out to Iraq to cover the conflict for me adds authenticity to the storytelling and also, importantly, makes it more difficult for critics to ignore.”

International Herald Tribune
More than words: Britain embraces the graphic novel

Wired (14:10)
“Calling Shooting War a Web comic is like calling Crime and Punishment a mere tale of murder…Shooting War tracks hipster Jimmy Burns from the obscurity of video-blogging Brooklyn’s anticorporate beat for his own site to his reluctant fame gained by vlogging an endlessly occupied Iraq for the Global News network. His story has wit and heart to spare, but the real star is the mediascape swirling around him, which Goldman depicts in a vivid combination of photography, illustration, and digital painting.”

Advertising Age
“The burgeoning online comics world produced a bona fide sensation recently with Shooting War, a graphic serial with a most topical, if uneasy, storyline: the war in Iraq and the war on terror.”

Publisher’s Weekly’s Calvin Reid
“A biting satire on the Iraq war that began as a Web comic and was acquired for print during this year’s San Diego Comic-con.”

Broken Frontier’s Matt Koelbl
“The online comic did what it set out to, though – it started the story. And while it may be easy to simply read it as a story about the state of our world, it is also a story about Jimmy Burns and his interaction with the state of his world. The online strip leaves the reader wanting to find out exactly where Jimmy’s story is going, and that is certainly a sign as to its success.”

Comics Alliance
“The novel weaves commentary on our country’s politics, the ever-growing insignificance of the mainstram media, the importance of the blogosphere (ahem, thanks AOL!) and the disturbing realities of war. And the real icing on the cake is the artwork, which has as much depth, color and detail as any Vertigo trade you might pick up while still subtly reminding the reader that yes, you’re looking at a computer screen because hey, that’s the age we’re living in.”

Dan Gilmor of the Center for Citizen Media calls Shooting War:
“A brilliant example of what could become a Web staple: graphic novels translated to a medium that is almost perfect for the genre. [I]t’s addictive.”

Gizmodo’s Brian Lam tells Time.com:
“There is this web comic called Shooting War; it got picked up in the Village Voice and it’s this really cool web comic about blogging in 2011 in Iraq. The war is still going on and the blogger does everything by video because it’s easier than typing. The fact of it is that the web comic shows the future of blogging as being more flowing, more conversational.”

USA Today’s Tech_Space’s Angela Gunn
“If you’ve ever gotten in on something important at the very beginning, you understand what’s in store for you — and even seven chapters in, I think this is just the beginning for this project and this creative team. Expect greatness.”

Baltimore Sun
“Shooting War is nothing less than a shot across the bow of the blog generation.”

Blogged by Wired’s Bruce Sterling
“One doesn’t often see genuinely left-wing radical comix with a sci-fi tinge.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch
“The anger, the artistry, and the very local detail make this a must-read. What’s more, the comic’s ‘trailer’ opens up a completely new way to tell stories with still pictures. It’s an intense and bracing read, torn from the headlines of tomorrow.”

Rolling Stone
“[A] scary-smart take on what the horrors of the future may hold.”

Village Voice
“[T]he light-handed but searing political satire of Shooting War is taking the Sunday comic strip places it could never have gone before.”

AlterNet
“[A]n arresting web comic … [that] has already become a prescient commentary on the future of warring Iraqi factions, globalization and citizen journalism’s struggle against mainstream media.”

Forbidden Planet International
“John Pilger meets Joe Sacco…for the blogging, Boing Boing web generation who read dispatches from Salam Pax or Riverbend�s Baghdad Burning. It is strong stuff, but that is to its credit in my opinion.”

BoingBoing
Shooting War launches on “the excellent SMITH.”

Newsarama
An interview with creator Anthony Lappé and artist Dan Goldman.

Publisher’s Weekly’s The Beat
“A webcomic for the rest of us.”

New York magazine’s esteemed Approval Matrix declares Shooting War:
“Brilliant & Lowbrow”

GQ‘s Style.com
“Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman’s dystopian, hipster-skewering Shooting War begs for a click.”

India’s Business Standard
“If fictions of terror have a future, though, it might just be with the graphic novel. At http://smithmag.us/shootingwar/, check out Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman’s Shooting War, which has a cult following online.”

Brazil’s Folha de S.Paulo
“Como se n’o bastasse, o nosso “here” parte para o Iraque para mostrar o que realmente est� acontecendo na guerra de guerrilhas que, na novela, je dura oito anos.”

Steve Rosenbaum, founder CameraPlanet
“Lappe is a pretty remarkable and rare new kind of storyteller. He’s the first of a new generation of filmmaker/journalist/activists who takes issues seriously – and uses all the tools at his disposal to make his stories heard.”

Independent Propaganda
“Proving the point that comics can tell a worthwhile story, Shooting War is a kick to the head about current world and political situations.”

Anthony Lappé goes mano a mano with hotshot Harvard prof JD Connor as they talk about the literature of our dystopian future on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show. Listen to it here.

Read an interview with Anthony Lappé on the MySpace Comic Books page.

For more information, download the Shooting War Press Release.

Media Contacts:

USA:

Elly Weisenberg: elly.weisenberg@hbgusa.com, 212-364-1570
Lisa Sciambra: lisa.sciambra@hbgusa.com, 212-364-1523

UK:

Rebecca Lewis: rebecca.lewis@orionbooks.co.uk