Boring until it isn’t

David Axe is a reporter who joneses for combat zones, and War Is Boring: Bored Stiff, Sacred to Death in the World’s Worst War Zones is a graphic memoir of his tours in trouble spots: Iraq, Lebanon during Israel’s 2006 attack, East Timor, Afghanistan, Somalia and reporting from Chad on the plight of Darfuri refugees. But at the heart of the memoir is his compulsion to seek out war; even as he describes it as long stretches of mind-numbing boredom broken up by moments of mind-breaking terror, he can’t resist returning again and again. With Matt Bors’ illustrations, the book keeps a narrative stream that doesn’t always require a lot of language. We can see Axe’s emotional turmoil in a much more detailed way than if he simply told us he was confused, conflicted or disgusted by what he was reporting—as well as by himself. The pair also collaborate on a blog with the same name.