Dispatch: Battle Damage Assessment

Art by Steve Lieber.
Art by Steve Lieber.

In a couple of weeks, it will mark 90 days since Shooters hit store shelves, and -- on this sunny July 4 -- it seemed like a good moment for me to take a look around and enjoy the view. 


Shooters was the culmination of a dozen false starts, hundreds of hours of e-mails, phone calls, interviews with current and former military personnel, and countless more hours staring at a blank screen thinking, "dear GOD what have I done?" 


Since the book launched on 18 April, it has received a generous outpouring of support -- from the soldiers it is about, from the comics and general news media fascinated by the subject matter. 


We've spoken to NPR. We received terrific reviews and commentary from USA Today, Newsarama, Scripps-Howard News Service, and more blogs, fans, and podcasts than I can easily list. (Except here. Thank you, all of you.)


We've signed books at the military base featured in the book, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


We've signed books at conventions. We've spoken to fans at many Pacific Northwest comic stores. 


We've been thanked by men and women in uniform, which is a universe turned topsy-turvy: obviously, thanks are due in the opposite direction. 


We've seen the book reprinted (unusual for a hardcover original graphic novel so soon in its life cycle); clearly, the book is finding its audience.


I had the bittersweet pleasure of seeing my hometown newspaper cover the book launch (albeit in a manner riddled with errors, which just felt...right somehow, given how quickly I wanted to get the hell out of there). 


There was the even more bittersweet moments of thanks and praise from my family—those who knew Dave (my late brother-in-law, upon whom much of Shooters is based) best. That means more to me than I can express here. 


And for all this, on behalf of myself, Steve Lieber and Brandon Jerwa, we are grateful beyond words. 


Have a safe, happy, healthy Fourth of July. 


--Eric Trautmann

Raymond, WA

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