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kept your shirt on

Get Your War On

Get Your War On is a series of satirical comic strips by David Rees about political topics — originally the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City but quickly switching focus to more recent ones, in particular the "War on Terrorism". The series achieved a cult following on the Internet, and in particular on discussion forums and blogs, very soon after debuting on October 9, 2001.

From a technical standpoint the strips are very crude, being assembled from about a dozen simple clip art pictures of office workers (with a few exceptions, most notably Voltron) that recur continually, often in the same strip. Almost all are in red on a white background. Owing to a heavy emphasis on dialogue there is almost no action. Highly disillusioned and cynical, it is heavily laden with expletives.

Get Your War On has been published in book form, with the author's royalties (as well as part of the publisher's income for the first book) donated to landmine clearing efforts. It has also been published regularly in Rolling Stone and some alternative newspapers. In 2004, Rees was interviewed in the book Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, edited by award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. Attitude 2 included other cartoonists such as Alison Bechdel and Aaron McGruder.

In 2005 it was adapted into a stage performance by Rude Mechanicals of Austin, Texas. The performance was revived in the winter of 2006 and began a tour of the country in the fall of 2006. The tour included stops in Houston, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

In 2007, Get Your War On comics were included with the works of Jenny Holzer and Goya in the DISSENT! exhibition of protest art at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum.

In 2008, Get You War On began running as an animated series on the comedy site 23/6.

Critical reaction

The New York Times has called Get Your War On a "glorious excoriation of our post-9/11 loony bin", while The Miami Herald, in their review of the second Get Your War On book, called it "Profane, decidedly anti-war and screamingly funny ... guaranteed to make you laugh yourself sick." Time magazine has compared Get Your War On to Doonesbury and The Boondocks, calling it "a fresher (and more R-rated) critique" of the Bush administration.

In book form

  • Get Your War On. Brooklyn: Soft Skull, 2002. ISBN 1-887128-76-X
  • Get Your War On II. New York: Riverhead, 2004. ISBN 1-59448-048-6

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