cover image War Fix

War Fix

David Axe, . . NBM, $15.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-56163-463-7

When smalltown newspaper journalist David begs an assignment to Iraq, he's supposed to be covering the national elections; actually, he's attracted by the persistent threat of carnage and an urge to get close to violent death. David doesn't want to take part in any battles personally, but he can't stop watching as car bombs explode and bullets punch through bodies. As the title suggests, war can be an addictive drug, and there are people who will take any risk for a fix. Axe himself is a freelance newspaper writer who has been to Iraq six times, so his firsthand observations of episodes in combat are fresh and vivid. Beyond his role as observer, however, David remains a cipher, like most of the characters here. The book fails to develop its pseudo-autobiographical story enough to let an audience decide whether David is a helpless, innocent geek or a perverted voyeur of bloodshed—or an even more disturbing combination of those roles. Olexa's black and white art is technically proficient, but it lacks the intensity that would make us identify with David's addiction enough to recognize how much we media-saturated readers share it. (June)