The Pentagon is looking to invest in the healing power of comic books. Convinced that creating graphic novels about their wartime exploits could help veterans deal with the mental scars of combat, military officials have launched an initiative asking software companies to create a web-based program that will allow troops to create “instant” DIY comics, graphic novelist David Axe reports for Wired. “Content creation could relate to modern combat, historical combat, science fiction or fantasy,” the solicitation suggests.
“The Afghanistan war has been steeped in comics,” writes Axe, who together with Greg Scott has created a graphic novel called the ‘Stan that chronicles the efforts of other soldiers-turned-comic-creators. The creators he’s talked to think the Pentagon program could help soldiers talk about their burden. “People are not going to write poetry,” says one ex-Marine. “Comics might be dorky, but they’re cool dorky.” Still, he warns that the military’s PR department might not like the stories that emerge; his, at least, tend to be “very depressing.”