Labyrinth Books and Princeton's Department of English invite you to the Princeton stop on David Rees's farewell tour for a talk, discussion, and reception on the occasion of the publication of the final, comprehensive collection of his comic strips.
On October 9th 2001, David Rees posted 8 comic strips on his website, in which workers talking to (or at) each other: "Oh yeah! Operation: Enduring Freedom is in the house!" "Oh yeah! Operation: Enduring Our Freedom is in the motherfucking house!" "Yes! Operation: Enduring Our Freedom To Bomb The Fuck Out Of You is in the house!"
The response was overwhelming. E-mails proliferated around the country as people, alternately thrilled or disgusted by Get Your War On—as Rees entitled his depiction of the violence of the War on Terrorism begotten of violence of Terrorism itself—forwarded the URL to their friends. Since that night millions of people have visited the site as Rees continues to add material that responds to current events.
Although the strip quickly became notorious—Rees received a great deal of fan mail and hate mail—Get Your War On is not purely a parody of patriotism, nor is it a simple indictment of U.S. jingoism. Instead, in a voice that combines the indignant, stentorian tones of rapper KRS-1 with the cadences of David Mamet and the boldness of Tom Tomorrow, Rees zeros in on the deep psychic bruise that events in New York, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere has inflicted on our hearts.
Rees succeeds in depicting a country of grieving, angry and confused citizens, feeling hatred for-and feeling the hatred of-the world beyond our shores. In so doing, he has illustrated better than any artist, politician, or pundit the true state of America's soul...its violence, its compassion.
David Rees is the creator of clip-art comics and has published not only Get Your War on, but also My Fighting Technique is Unstoppable, My Filing Technique is Unstoppable, and Confessoins of Saint Augustine Bear. He is contributing blogger for The Huffington Post.