Machete Squad

Brent Dulak (Author) Kevin Knodell (Author)
& 2 more

Product Details

Dead Reckoning
Publish Date
September 15, 2018
6.5 X 0.6 X 10.2 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author

Brent Dulak grew up in Wisconsin, where he hated his job and decided to join the Army. He deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. He's a graduate of University of Washington's School of Medicine and works in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kevin Knodell is a journalist that covers conflict, culture, and crime. His work has appeared at Playboy, The Week, Vice, Soldier of Fortune, The News Tribune, and others. He's a former contributing editor at and writes the Acts of Valor comic series for Naval History magazine. He lives in Tacoma, Washington.
David Axe is a freelance reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina, and the author of the graphic novel War is Boring.
Per Darwin Berg is a comic artist and writer currently working out of Seattle in the indy market. He volunteers weekly with the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a writing center for K-12. His favorite hobby is comedy, but he's not that funny.


Selected as a Top 20 in the Publishers Weekly "The Big Indie Books of Fall 2018" List
"The austere settings are vast in scale yet feel intimate, as though you are seeing the world through Dulak's eyes. Berg's drawings expertly use color (warm and cool) and depth (shadows and angles)." --Military Times
"This is a timely and tragic story that reflects the complicated world in which we live." --Comics Bulletin
"Dulak's account is powerful."
"Ruthless and eye-opening... Machete Squad cuts like a jagged instrument, providing an uncomfortable but essential look at a national wound improperly treated for nearly two decades. It is the grunt's-eye view of a war most have already forgotten, but one that will define the next generation of military and civilian leaders." --Col Seth W.B. Folsom USMC, author of Where Youth and Laughter Go: With "The Cutting Edge" in Afghanistan

"Machete Squad succeeds not merely by illustrating the depravity of war but by showing how an individual can find peace in his decisions and actions, regardless of the scenario." --Foreword Reviews
"...This episodic tale of military life has a gritty honesty, like a guy at a dive bar with a story to get off his chest." --Publishers Weekly
"Illustrated by Per Darwin Berg, Dulak's Machete Squad is a captivating tale." --Popular Military

"Machete Squad is worth a read particularly for Dulak's honesty about his experiences not as a 'True American Hero' but as a regular man learning how to survive conditions no human should ever have to endure. For once, it is refreshing to see a narrative that shows bravery in violent conflict--such as insisting on doing the ethical, 'right thing' despite going against protocol--without glorifying war itself." --Collateral

2018 INDIES Finalist: Graphic Novels and Comics --Foreword Reviews
"A U.S. Army medic cuts to the bone in a graphic memoir that takes full advantage of the form. This book ... offers a vivid, terrifying, and often beautiful illumination of one man's cathartic experience in Afghanistan.... Many of the panels have few or no words, letting the art convey the depth of the experience. It's a collaborative effort, with journalists Knodell and Axe--who also teamed up on The 'Stan (2018), another of the first titles from this series--turning Dulak's testimony into a taut narrative that complements the art.... Readers will have a visceral response to the experiences shared by this searing memoir." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[Machete Squad] provides a vivid, terrifying, and sometimes stunning illumination of one man's cathartic expertise in Afghanistan."
"Machete Squad is the full-color, graphic novel memoir of Brent Dulak, a U.S. Army medic and veteran of two tours in Iraq sent to serve in Afghanistan, America's longest war. His duty is to take care of the wounded at a remote outpost as the Americans prepare to turn Kandahar Province over to Afghan forces. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban; senseless violence plagues the land, sending not only injured soldiers, but also civilians and even dying children to the overworked Dulak. Candidly describing the violence of war, laced with dark humor, and all but impossible to put down, Machete Squad is highly recommended." --The Midwest Book Review
"The art works very well in this piece. The artist uses a very expressive, cartoony style that allows for the characters to emote in a way that's more effective and engaging than a more photorealistic style would permit. The colors also add to the story nicely, especially the way that it juxtaposes the bright Afghan days with the dark Afghan nights.... Machete Squad is easily [a strong] title." --The Fandom Post
"This work is open and honest about soldiers' experiences and is often darkly humorous in a way that veterans of any era will find familiar." --Military Heritage
"If you're wanting a taste of military life with adventure, then Machete Squad is for you. This is the cutting edge of a modern graphic novels." --ComicScene UK
"[Machete Squad is] a solid example of graphic journalism. The stories are heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and sobering.... There is a cinematic quality to it. [It would work well as] an animated film.... It's a fantastic read if you're into military stories or if you want an honest assessment of what's going on in Afghanistan. This [book] is pretty amazing." --Graphic Policy (YouTube)
"Dulak does not hold back. His experience of self-doubt, frustration, and poor leadership make the story real. Just like the language used reflects the vernacular of infantry medics, this non-fictional work accurately depicts one of the stories of Army Medicine in the longest war in United States' history -- warts and all." --The AMEDD Historian