by DAVID AXE
War and comics. All over the world, sequential arts and conflict are intertwined.
I’m not just talking about my graphic novel War is Boring or the other works of my artist Matt Bors or cartoonists Ted Rall or Joe Sacco or writer Robert LeHeup. The Afghan army uses comic books to smooth relations between commandos and civilians. In remote eastern Afghanistan, the local government distributes comics meant to convince people to support the war effort.
Now the U.S. arms industry is beginning to recognize the propaganda educational potential of comics. It so happens that Jules Rivera, an engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk spy-drone program, also writes and draws comics. She voluntarily produced Global Hawk: Endless Possibilities, a short comics featuring two kids discovering one of the massive drones at an air show. Northrop liked the comic enough to officially endorse it.
I met Rivera at the San Francisco Small Press Expo. In addition to her drone comic, she contributes to War Is Boring book critic Peter Vine’s Web-comic Hard Graft, among other titles.