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Wood, Brian. DMZ: on the ground.

WOOD, Brian. DMZ: on the ground. Art by Riccardo Burchielli. DC Comics, Vertigo Line. 128p. illus. c2006. 1401210627. $9.99. SA

The main character, Matthew Roth, is an aspiring photojournalist interning with Liberty News. For some reason the network sends Matthew into a war zone with one of their news teams. The assignment doesn't go smoothly; Matthew's helicopter is shot down and he is stranded in the DMZ, aka Manhattan. The second civil war is being fought, and the DMZ is a kind of no-man's-land between the two armies. Matthew is shown around the DMZ by a woman named Zee, who runs a makeshift health clinic; meets a squad of paramilitary soldiers called The Ghosts, who have set up an eco-system underneath what used to be Central Park; and gets caught in the middle of the US invasion of lower Manhattan. Despite the chaos and danger, Matthew decides to stay so that he can tell the world what's really happening in the DMZ.

This graphic novel does a great job of capturing the chaos, terror and suddenness of war. It is timely and has some interesting things to say about the press. I would have liked more back story, to find out how a group of home grown militias could form their own country and fight the US Army to a standstill. I also have trouble believing that Matthew would survive: the DMZ is portrayed as an interesting series of neighborhoods, but it's still a war-zone. On the Ground contains combat sequences, graphic violence, and profanity (I counted over 100 f-bombs) and is recommended for library collections catering to older YAs. It would also fit well in the adult collection. George Galuschak, YA Libn., Montvale PL, Montvale, NJ

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Galuschak, George
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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