Saturday, November 1, 2008
GET YOUR WAR ON!
We've always been big fans of David Rees and Get Your War On. Political cartoons have a long and glorious tradition dating back to Thomas Nast, to Daumier, to Goya, hell, probably to cave paintings, and Rees takes his place with the masters lampooning his age and its politics.
In the Rees strip, office workers chat on the phone or kill time around the water cooler, but don't expect Dilbert. Rees has an ear for dialog, and the language is natural and harsh as he directs his poison pen at hypocrites, war profiteers, and neo-cons, especially Bush and Company, McCain and Palin, and other cheerleaders for the "war on terror."
Compared to Nast and the masters, the strip is crude--the artwork is basically repetitive clip-art--but for capturing the political timbre of these soul-killing Bush years nobody comes close to Rees. He's lassoed the zeitgeist.
The office chatter is pitch perfect--picture Dilbert crossed with, um, Elmore Leonard. Anyway, after years of enjoying the strip, now we have an animated version. Not for everyone, I'll admit, bit I'm delighted to see the clip-art move. The strips are also available in book form, and the royalties of the first book are donated to landmine clearing efforts.
In 2007, his work was included with Jenny Holzer and Goya in the DISSENT! exhibition of protest art at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum.