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Continuing the guest reviews of my esteemed Comic Book Teacher friends, I present to you an amazing chunk of graphic novel reviews by my main man Jason Nisavic. Jason is a Social Studies teacher in my district. He has used graphic novels to great success in his classroom, he runs our school’s improv team, and he also heads the Gay/Straight Alliance; I tell you this because Jason is a busy dude, so I appreciate it when he comes through with some top-notch reviews! We only have two days left with Jason…
Author(s): Eric Trautman, Brando Jerwa, and Steve Lieber
Publisher: DC/Vertigo Comics (2012)
Age Rating: 17+
It’s a painful thing to discuss 21st Century American military history; the relatively small percentage of Americans who participated in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have experienced something the rest of us will probably never understand or fully appreciate. All the same, serious works like Shooter try to capture the stress and strange isolation that comes from serving in a messy, unclear war. This is also the first graphic novel I’ve seen that takes a mature look at the rise of “Blackwater”-style mercenary groups.
“Just because we’re on the same side doesn’t mean we’re on the same team.” This quote from page 104 from Shooters perfectly captures the theme of the book. Over the course of the story, we watch soldier Terry Glass live out a series of betrayals in every aspect of his life. We witness his journey, fraught with dissatisfaction and dead-ends, from soldier to forgotten veteran to private military contractor.
This is not a feel-good story, but it is required reading for anyone who wants a glimpse into the psyche of a modern soldier. These topics need to be discussed, and I’m glad that Trautman and Jerwa were bold enough to delve into such pain to find the story worth telling.
-Thank you, Jason, for the review of this important book, and I look forward to featuring your final review tomorrow! Please give Jason a follow on social media @teaching_humans
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