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No person is any one thing, they are an amalgam of various parts. Most people like to think that somewhere in there soul is a rebel, a hero, a scholar, someone of quality. And while people can and do exhibit these qualities, it’s not as often as we’d like, and sometimes not for the right reasons. The trouble is we’re all human, and that means being fallible, making mistakes and living with them. Sometimes people get a chance to correct mistakes, sometimes they choose to ignore them. The human condition is a funny ole thing.
It’s the human condition that makes DMZ such a great book. Brian Wood has created a fictional place that is all too real and all too human. Our guide through this place is Matty Roth, a reporter by accident in the middle of a demilitarized zone that is at the center of a civil war in the United States, Manhattan to be precise. Roth ended up there by a strange twist of fate, and he made the decision to stay and if possible find and show the truth. But the truth is not always easy to spot, and it looks different through different eyes. Roth gives us a look through his eyes, the eyes of an everyman in circumstances out of his control.
In BLOOD IN THE GAME the people of the DMZ are putting together a government and a candidate is rising to the top, one Paco Delgado. When the opposing sides decide to put a Government in place with candidates of their own the DMZ turns to former gansta Delgado. Roth is entranced and gets swept up in the mire of the politics putting his journalistic integrity beyond jeopardy.
Wood uses DMZ as a wonderful voice to talk about what is going on in our own world right now. It is a truly gifted writer that can make a political statement and do it while telling a completely satisfying fictional tale. And what I take away from this is that while it may be easier to sit back and lament the world around us, sometimes you need to dig deeper and find those hidden qualities that make us better humans.
DMZ goes beyond just great storytelling, it’s a graphic editorial and its saying something everyone should listen to.