08 provides a brief and breezy grap"/>

08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail

Michael Crowley, Author, Dan Goldman, Author . Three Rivers $17.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-307-40511-1

For everyone who didn't get quite enough coverage and analysis of the longest presidential campaign in American history, 08 provides a brief and breezy graphic account of all that led up to the Obama-McCain November showdown. New Republic senior editor Crowley provides the semaphore-like text (“It started like any other debate. Bush-bashing. Bickering about health care. Iraq”). The b&w illustrations are courtesy of Shooting War's Goldman, who brings a punchy and dramatic rhythm to a rendering that could all too easily have been done by the numbers (though his fixation on wrinkles leaves many faces looking like they are covered with spiderwebs). Unlike most nonfiction comics concerning current affairs, 08 doesn't assume an omniscient narrator, creating instead a rather creaky framing device of a washed-up veteran political reporter, taking a flight with his editor while the editor reads his latest story on the campaign. The voice of this old ink-stained cynic allows the narrative to be a little less vanilla, but it's still not much more than an illustrated time line. Though Crowley and Goldman don't dumb anything down, they still skip past much interpretation. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
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