Get Your War On
|Get Your War On|
|Launch date||October 9, 2001|
|End date||January 20, 2009|
Get Your War On is a series of satirical comic strips by David Rees about political topics – originally the effects of the September 11 attacks on New York City but quickly switching focus to more recent ones, in particular the "War on Terrorism". The series achieved a cult following on the Internet, and in particular on discussion forums and blogs, very soon after debuting on October 9, 2001.
From a technical standpoint the strips are very crude, being assembled from about a dozen simple clip art pictures of office workers (with a few exceptions, most notably Voltron) that are repeated, often in the same strip. Almost all are in red on a white background. There is a heavy emphasis on dialogue and almost no action. Highly disillusioned and cynical, it is heavily laden with expletives.
The majority of the clip art used in Get Your War On is taken from Office and Business Illustrations, designed by Tom Tierney and first published by Dover Publications in 1988.[n 1] In 2009, American restaurant chain Jamba Juice was criticized for running an ad campaign which looked similar to the Get Your War On series as it used the same clip art.
Get Your War On has been published in book form, with the author's royalties (as well as part of the publisher's income for the first book and Get Your War on II) being donated to the charity Adopt-A-Minefield for removal of landmines in Afghanistan. It has also been published regularly in Rolling Stone and some alternative newspapers. In 2004, Rees was interviewed in the book Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, edited by syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. Attitude 2 included other cartoonists such as Alison Bechdel and Aaron McGruder.
In 2005 it was adapted into a stage performance by Rude Mechanicals of Austin, Texas. The performance was revived in the winter of 2006 and began a tour of the country in the fall of 2006. The tour included stops in Houston, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.
In 2008, Get Your War On began running as an animated series on the comedy site 23/6.
As the author had promised, the strip ended the day that George W. Bush left office, January 20, 2009. Rees continues to maintain a blog, which covers topical political issues.
Tom Carson has called Get Your War On a "glorious excoriation of our post-9/11 loony bin", while Connie Ogle, in her review of the second Get Your War On book, called it "Profane, decidedly anti-war and screamingly funny ... guaranteed to make you laugh yourself sick." James Poniewozik has compared Get Your War On to Doonesbury and The Boondocks, calling it "a fresher (and more R-rated) critique" of the Bush administration.
In book form
- Get Your War On. Brooklyn: Soft Skull, 2002. ISBN 1-887128-76-X
- Get Your War On II. New York: Riverhead, 2004. ISBN 1-59448-048-6
- Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror, 2001-2008 Brooklyn: Soft Skull, 2008. ISBN 1-59376-213-5
- Dover's web page about the book is here.
- "Jamba Juice’s new advertising technique is despicable", Andy on the Road, July 18, 2009.
- Xeni Jardin, "Jamba Juice accused of stealing Get Your War On artist's work: Update: Jamba responds, GYWO calls for boycott", boingboing.net, July 27, 2009.
- Balog, Kathy, et al. (September 9, 2004). "Our critics' top picks". USA Today, Pg. 6D
- Raiteri, Steve (July 15, 2004). "Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists". Library Journal Reviews, Pg. 62
- van Ryzin, Jeanne Claire (September 7, 2006). "Future of art emerges into reality". Austin American-Statesman, XLENT; Pg. 15
- Gross, Joe (January 26, 2006). "The art of war". Austin American-Statesman, XLENT; Pg. 14
- Evans, Everett (September 23, 2006). "Theater: Get Your War On is a political zinger". The Houston Chronicle, Star; Pg. 3
- Zinman, Toby (September 15, 2006). "A satire of politics, or of the characters?". The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pg. W27
- Zinoman, Jason (January 13, 2007). "A History Lesson That Sprays Scorn Liberally". The New York Times, Pg. B14
- Pressley, Nelson (October 7, 2006). "Internet Comic Strip 'Get Your War On' Goes 3-D on Stage". The Washington Post, Pg. C01
- Editorial board (February 10, 2007). "Truth to power, in all caps". The Boston Globe, Pg. A10
- Carson, Tom (October 3, 2004). "Last Comic Standing". The New York Times, Pg. 20G
- Ogle, Connie (November 24, 2004). "Go Ahead, Make Your Buddy's Belly Ache From Laughing". The Miami Herald, Pg. 22E
- Poniewozik, James (July 12, 2002). "The Cultural Campaign". Time, p. 69.
- Begun, Bret (November 4, 2002). "Is It OK to Laugh Yet?". Newsweek, p. 54.