Friday, October 29, 2004
Welcome to our online chat with David Rees, brilliant mind behind Get You War On.
The chat took place on Friday, October 29, at 12:00 PM and is now closed, but you can read the full transcript on this page.
Moderatus Moderatum: Hello, Lawrence. We've got David Rees here today, of Get Your War On. He'll be answering the first question in a moment, so please keep the excellent, incisive questions coming.
David Rees: Hello everyone. Let's do this.
David, Lawrence, KS: Wittgenstein begins his "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" with the line, "The world is all the it the case." Not only that, but a blog on Lawrence.com shares that line as its title. Do you see a general resurgence in Wittgensteinisms, or Wittgensteinism itself, lately, as you travel across America? Is the world indeed all that is the case? Or is something else the case?
David Rees: Yes, the resurgence in Wittgenstein (and British analytic philosophy) can be traced to President Bush. People think Bush said Jesus was his favorite philosopher... he actually said Wittgenstein was his favorite. But the LIBERAL MEDIA lied about his answer (of course).
Matt, DC: What direction will you be heading next- career wise? Any big projects?
David Rees: I will be Secretary of State in the Kerry administration.
Jeff, Ashland, NE: I asked before... not sure if it went through. Do you realize that your announcement to stop doing "Get Your War On!" if Kerry wins could seriously skew this election? People will now vote for Bush hoping to keep your comic alive for four more years!
David Rees: I know... Karl Rove paid me $450,000 to make that announcement.
Henry - Lawrence: Love your comics but I have a yearning for Kim Jong Il material - anything coming down the pipe?
David Rees: I haven't done too much about North Korea. It did show up earlier this year... but maybe I should revisit KimJong Il. He is a fascinating guy.
O. Wells: Do you have a favorite war? Although Vietnam seems to get a lot of publicity (Chuck Norris movies, etc.), I'd have to go with the Korean conflict, because M*A*S*H was hilarious, poignant, and Sally Kellerman was seen naked.
tim, walnut, illinois: why do you hate america?
David Rees: My favorite war is the War Against Poverty. Someday we will win that war.
David Rees: The question is, Why do YOU hate America???
probe, lawrence: Longtime reader, first time online chat question asker: I'm considering a career as a satirical, politico-cartoonist. But I'd prefer to just do one strip every other week for a major publication. Maybe some syndication work here and there, a compilation book or two. Feasible? Or should I also expect to buttress my wages as an army of one or something?
David Rees: Dear Probe,
It is entirely feasible. You just need to know whose butt to kiss, which bourbon to drink, and which clip art captures the nation's imagination. National Review publishes every other week... I would try them.
Bob, KC: Love your work, when is the animated feature? It would work great on the Adult Swim block.
David Rees: I am considering an animated version of "My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable." Perhaps someday you will see it on Saturday mornings. Underwritten by Kellogg's Froot Loops.
Kyle, Lincoln NE: What newspapers and magazines do you read to stay informed in order to write the dialog for your strip? Do you watch cable news?
David Rees: I don't have cable TV. Maybe that's why I know that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. I try to read the NY Times and the Financial Times every day. I also subscribe to a bunch of political magazines.
Franky: How does the Bush Administration get away with 14 different conflicting reasons on why they lost 300 tons of explosives. And doesn't the media notice this? It seems kind of important
David Rees: I think the media is pushing the explosives story. The White House is definitely on the defensive. I read two articles yesterday-- one in the Financial Times, one in the Wall Street Journal-- contradicting the WH's claims about the explosives. Of course, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal are a couple of commie leftist rags, so I wouldn't taket 'em too seriously.
scarlet,, seattle: are you coming to seattle anytime soon? also, i heard you're dropping gywo if kerry wins...is this true?
David Rees: I really like reading in Seattle, but I didn't fit it in for this tour. And yes I will stop GYWO when Kerry is inaugurated and Bush returns to Texas.
grace, sacramento, ca: are you vegan? are you? if so, will you marry me?
David Rees: I tried veganism for about nine weeks and realized I was eating a can of Pringle's every night because I was so damn hungry all the time. Now I am an omnivore. And I am already married.
Pete, Chicago: Why haven't you made XXL t-shirts for us beefy, Eagle-like American patriots? Your XL t-shirts are for wimpy frenchmen!
David Rees: I did make the XXL shirts! Maybe I forgot to post that information on my online store? As you can see I am a master businessman. I will post the new sizes after the election, I promise.
Dr. Zaius, I'd rather not say: Do you worry that, when most human life is extinguished by politicians, the earth will be taken over by, i don't know, apes or something?
David Rees: Yes the world might revert to being run by godless animals. That would be a bittersweet end to a pretty good run by us humans.
joan, brooklyn: you are my hero. your GYWO comic strip makes me laugh maniacally while i slave in front of a computer as a permanent temp at an investment bank in downtown NYC. i can't seem to make the leap to say **CK you to the man b/c the pay is too good and i'm a poor artist. any tips??
David Rees: I was a temp for years... in fact when I first moved to NYC I worked in a windowless basement for Citigroup. Good times, good times. They even had a guy come by to shine the boss's shoes. Wow. Anyway, the most important thing is to make stuff on your own terms and keep a really low standard of living so you can afford to quit working every once in a while.
Colon Pow, DC: How did all this happen? I mean, Really? When you started the strips did you have Rolling Stone and animated film in mind, or did it roll out of your control as quickly as has been my experience with the current administration?
David Rees: I started GYWO right after we began bombing Afghanistan. I made some strips and emailed them to my friends, who forwarded them to their friends, etc. etc. I had been making the strip for over a year when Rolling Stone called. That was a pleasant surprise. I never expected it to become my job. It has been a very rewarding and interesting experience.
Franky, NYC: Where did you get that wonderful clipart?
David Rees: Most of the GYWO clip art was published in "Office Situations." This wonderfully named collection of clip art was published by Dover in New York. Dover is the best publisher in the world! You can even sign up on their mailing list to hear about their latest clip art!
Dave, Boston: Are you familiar with the pro-war poster remixes by Micah Ian Wright? Have you met him? You too should collaborate on something.
David Rees: Yes, I did a talk with Micah Wright. It was a weird experience. He talked about being in the Army Rangers and paricipating in the invasion of Panama. Turns out, it was all made up!!! He was never in the Rangers! His publisher, upon hearing of this bizarre turn of events, dropped his second book. I liked his posters OK but I strongly object to his misrepresenting himself.
monkeywrench: i'll kill the next motherfucker that says Wittgenstein.
David Rees: As Wittgenstein himself was fond of saying, "Can't you express yourself without resorting to profanity?"
dave, berkeley/west palm beach: If Karl Rove had paid you 450k, david, we KNOW that half of it was not to acknowledge it publicly. You're a stooge for the democratic phony registraters, admit it.
David Rees: Actually, he paid me $900,000 total. Uh-oh... I have entered a reiterative algorithm of hush money. Sweet.
mostundudelike, austin: Love the toon.
So have you made a full-time go of the cartoon thing or did you keep the day job? Perhaps some contract filing?
David Rees: I've been a professional cartoonist since January 2003. That's when Rolling Stone picked me up. Between Rolling Stone, online shirt sales, and the odd piece for magazines, I am able to sustain a middle class lifestyle. Barely.
Jeff, Nebraska again...: Dumb question... are you formally trained in art or writing or anything? Or is this just something you did on a dare/bet/drunken favor to a friend?
David Rees: I don't have much training in art and writing. The key for me was having good supportive parents who let me draw comics as a kid, and didn't freak out when I announced I wanted to study philosophy in college. I took a couple art classes in college but I wasn't very good.
Moderatus Moderatum: Time for one more question.
Rob, Tampa FlA.: Do you feel that Florida is going to be the butt of voting jokes as in 2000 or is Ohio going take over that role?
David Rees: Man, good question. I'm not sure. I would really like to know who my president's gonna be by the time I go to bed on November 2... is that asking too much?
Moderatus Moderatum: Lawrence.com is pleased to have had David Rees join us in Lawrence for this chat. Thanks for your questions, and thank you, David.
David Rees: It was my pleasure. Thanks for your interest.