Welcome To "The Twilight of Our Hollowed Union"

During the Winter of 2005, indie phenom Brian Wood and newcomer to American comics Riccardo Burchielli launched DMZ through DC’s Vertigo imprint. Critically acclaimed since its inception, the series is a dystopian piece of speculative political fiction which examines the national identity of the modern day United States. In the years since its debut, DMZ has proven to be a powder keg of social thought, voicing a prescient slice of ideological discourse for a generation of Americans. DMZ is predicated upon a not-too-distant future where the US overextends itself abroad, domestic social unrest peaks, the frustration and disenfranchisement of the American Heartland gives rise to the secessionist Free States of America (FSA) movement, and the country plunges rapidly into the Second American Civil War. The titular DMZ refers to the demilitarized zone of Manhattan, which is a hotly contested front separating the FSA forces from the remnants of the USA. The book’s emotional anchor is Matthew Roth, a green journalist who is dropped right into the heart of the DMZ as the series opens. Roth’s character arc may be a thematic Brian Wood identity quest as we’ve seen develop in his larger body of contemporary work, but when observed in greater context, the narrative sweep of DMZ also offers startling commentary reflective of the divisive nature of our current socio-political climate.

DMZ is unlike anything on the market and is a prime example of art imitating life. It’s not difficult to imagine the real world repercussions of what could potentially occur if life started to imitate art in the subversive manner Brian Wood and his artistic collaborators have projected. As the epic tale progresses, DMZ starts to read less like poli-fi (that’s the new term we’re going to coin here together, not poli-sci, not sci-fi, but poli-fi – “political fiction”), and more like an acutely tangible potential reality. Due to the nature of its political allegory, DMZ has functioned as a catalyst for open-ended introspection regarding the events chronicled in our post-9/11 news cycle every day. For that reason, it’s an important entry into the category of Early 21st Century Fiction, which transcends the medium and is deserving of a closer look. In 2010, Brian Wood announced via Vertigo’s Graphic Content blog that 2011 would witness an energetic push to the final issue, with DMZ #72 hitting the shelves this December.

Live From The DMZ is a site dedicated to the book and will be presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the series and its cultural significance. For the remainder of 2011, we’ll be offering the equivalent of a Director’s Commentary Track on your favorite DVD for each volume of the DMZ saga, including interviews with writer Brian Wood and many of his series collaborators. Beyond the final year of publication, Live From The DMZ is designed to remain a destination resource. The functional intent is for the books to lead readers to the site, enhancing their reading experience, and for the site to lead readers to the books, enhancing sales figures and driving wider recognition of this contemporary classic helmed by one of the most important indie creative voices of the last decade.

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