By Hervé St.Louis
June 17, 2006 - 10:00
Writer: David Axe
Artist: Steven Olexa
War Fix is about David, a small town reporter who has always been fascinated with wars. He decides to go to Iraq as a war correspondent, against the very wishes of his girlfriend and the lukewarm support of his newspaper. David is not going overseas for glory though. Something else draws him toward this war and it becomes addictive for him. Written by a young war correspondent, War Fix explores the mind of those who endanger their lives to record the wars for the rest of us.
I don’t know how much of the real David Axe is imbued in this fictional character. This is a visual story that takes no side on the American war effort and stick strictly to tell us how it feels to go there and risk one’s life. In a few pages, the reader understands quickly how it feels. It seems that Axe skipped and entire chapter of his stay in Iraq as he describes actions and events that normal people wouldn’t be doing on their second days in Iraq. Yet, it probably was intentional. Once out there the reality of war becomes real and there is no time to get adjusted. You either follow, or stay behind and die.
The artwork on this graphic novel is wonderful. It looks like realistic Manga. There are ink washes and zip tone lines reinforcing the drama on the page. There’s a lot of violence that Olexa captures as if he had access to real photos of the war. Although the page layout is wild, the storytelling is clear and evocative.