I'm the editor of SMITH: Everyone Has a Story, an online magazine about storytelling in its many shapes and forms. Our hottest read right now is the webcomic Shooting War, a near-future, media-obsessed story about a Brooklyn blogger who heads to still-war-torn Iraq after witnessing a terrorist attack on Williamsburg soil.
When I read Anthony Lappé's synopsis of Shooting War just a few month ago--a storyline based in part on his own experiences over there--I was blown away. Was Shooting War a novel? A movie? A videogame? Could it be a graphic novel? Bingo. And if so, why not publish it online and try to turn it into a book later? Anthony and I connected with the amazing illustrator Dan Goldman (who's a founder of the online comic collective ACT-I-VATE, and Shooting War began to take shape.
Set in 2011, Shooting War depicts a dark future, one in which the war in Iraq drags on, gas prices are as you might expect, and the whole megillah's coming apart at the seams--despite the efforts of President John McCain. Our protagonist, Jimmy Burns, is an anti-corporate video-blogger catapulted to fame when he captures the latest terrorist attack on his videoblog, beams it to the world and suddenly finds himself working for Global News ("Your home for 24-hour terror coverage"), an outfit that makes Fox look like Air America.
Using Dan Goldman's images, a soundtrack by DJ Spooky and real audio Anthony Lappé recorded while in Iraq, we created an intro video with a killer interactive media shop called Indelible.
Rolling Stone calls Shooting War "scary smart." The Village Voice's Julian Dibbell writes, "[T]he light-handed but searing political satire of Shooting War is taking the Sunday comic strip places it could never have gone before." EW's Popwatch says, "the comic's 'trailer' opens up a completely new way to tell stories with still pictures."
But what do they know? See for yourself on SMITH.