Vancouver cartoonist Colin Upton has taken journal comics one step further, choosing to look at life around him through war-colored glasses.
Upton’s Gulf War Diary offers an outsider’s view on the war — a non-military and non-journalist’s take on what has been going on half a world away, but that is transmitted to him through various forms of media almost instantaneously.
This ongoing project, almost a cross between Sacco’s Palestine or Spiegelman’s Maus and Weing’s The Journal Comic, is described by Upton on his site as follows:
The Gulf War Diary started almost spontaniuosly. I was sitting watching the news and grabbed paper and pencil and began drawing a cartoon, starting March 28th I think it was. I didn’t know what to do with it so I had it put up on my web site. The cartoons are drawn fast, written pencilled and inked in about an hour.
As he further points out, the webcomic medium serves as the perfect outlet for his need for expression:
The great limitation I found with print comics was by the time I drew them I had worked and reworked them so much the passion, the urgency was gone. And by the time they were printed and available, months after the event, they were now history. This is, I think, the major advantages of on-line comics, topicality and reach, a genre that otherwise holds little interest for me. I will try to post a cartoon strip day for who knows how long. I’m told what I’m doing is a “blog”, which sounds to me like Australian slang for vomiting, so I guess it’s not all that orginial. I just knew I had to say something about this war. I’ve written letters to the editor but I am at heart a cartoonist. This is how I howl…
Just as the world is experiencing its first “instant media” war, so does Upton choose to use the webcomic medium as his own “instant expression” outlet.
The Gulf War Diary updates daily.