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Palestine (Palestine #1-2)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,427 Ratings  ·  545 Reviews
Prior to Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995—Joe Sacco's breakthrough novel of graphic journalism—the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996.

Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics.


Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 17th 2001 by Fantagraphics (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Old-School Journalism

Over the past few decades, journalism has lost much of its credibility and almost all of its punch. Shallow, commercially-minded infotainment dominates, feeding us the "blue pill" (in Matrix terms) that makes us forget all those unpleasant realities out there. Why would media conglomerates fund costly in-depth research when a fluffy little human interest story not only feels better but is also much better for the bottom line? Mmmm, the blissful ignorance of media myths and i
Mar 28, 2008 Miina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting through this graphic novel. It was a tough read due to the subject matter. I also wasn't fond of the art on a personal level.
I did immensely appreciate Joe Sacco's motivation for writing this graphic novel. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Joe Sacco said:
"I grew up thinking of Palestinians as terrorists, and it took a lot of time, and reading the right things, to understand the power dynamic in the Middle East was not what I had thought it was... And basically, it upset
Dec 17, 2013 Oriana rated it really liked it
book two for Jugs & Capes, my all-girl graphic novel book club!

Whew. This is a really, really devastating book. Part of the problem (and obviously part of the point) is that it is relentlessly awful, with story after story after story of death, destruction, skirmishes with soldiers, dead sons, dead husbands, maimed daughters, displacement, oppression, poverty, and pain.

It's so painful, horribly, that I actually started to get a little jaded; or that's not what I mean exactly, but the storie
Palestine first appeared as a series of nine comic books, but is collected here in a special edition that also includes a foreword by the late Edward Said and an introduction by the author. Sacco writes that he was compelled to visit the Palestinian territories for two main reasons. First, he realized that the taxpayer dollars he paid as an American were being spent in financial aid to Israel, perpetuating the occupation. Second, after pursuing a degree in journalism, he became aware as to the o ...more
We in the States are always told that we have to support the Israelis. Remember what the Jews have endured with the Holocaust! Why didn't we stop Hitler (there are always those that insist we had the chance)?? We need to make it up to the Jews! They need to have their own homeland as reparation for their terrible suffering!

Yes, the Jews suffered terrible things. It was awful and horrific, and I hope with every fiber of my being that something like the Holocaust will never happen again.

But what a
Apr 10, 2015 Ken-ichi rated it liked it
Joe Sacco is a comics journalist, or as he describes himself in this book, an "action cartoonist," entering areas of political turmoil to make documentary comics. Despite some occasional dips into free-wheeling personal anecdote reminiscent of Kerouac or Crumb, Sacco is predominantly a documentarian, not terribly concerned with narrative, but more focused on recounting the individual stories of the people he interviews. And there are a lot of interviews, conducted over countless cups of tea in i ...more
May 01, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non fiction readers, graphic novel lovers
For the love of God everyone needs to read this book. Americans are so ignorant when it comes to the struggles of the Isralies and Palestinians. THis is something we need to know about and Sacco presents it in a real person to person manner that will leave shocked and horrified, as you should be. If more people read this book the world would be a better place, because people would have to stand up and fight!
Aug 01, 2014 Tosh rated it it was amazing
Superb book by Joe Sacco, regarding his journalistic cartooning and narration on the stories that are located in Palestine. It's a subject matter that I have avoided for a long time now. Due to the fact that Israel has close ties to the American culture and the feverish defense and anger towards that country. It is better to look away. Luckily, Sacco doesn't turn his head around, and here we get an interview after interview of Palatine dwellers and what it is like to live in and on an occupied l ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
pretty much a masterpiece on every possible level.

first off, because sacco wisely lets the people he encounters do the talking. it's a warts-and-all first person account of people's lives in palestine, and almost all embellishments and social commentaries come from the mouths of the people he talks to, rather than from things he learned reading edward said or whatever.

at the same time, he allows his own story to weave throughout. we are privvy to his own frustrations and fascinations along the
Shaimaa Ali
Mar 06, 2014 Shaimaa Ali rated it it was amazing
Sacco is really raising the bar for any other so-called: Comics!

This is a real Master Piece!! Not an ordinary Comic that you are going to forget once you turn over its last page!
With the eyes of a foreigner, Sacco illustrated what he saw in Occupied Palestine. His illustrations spoke a thousand words besides his commentary on the plot. It was so real that I felt when I'll raise my head from the book I'll find those characters moving in front of me!
He addressed lots of issues, the occupation his
Nura Yusof
Aug 08, 2011 Nura Yusof rated it it was ok
There's plenty of literature out there that talks about the many injustices imposed on the Palestinians by the Israelis. This book is another but with a difference. This time it comes in comic book form.

Is it one-sided? I would think so. Being a Muslim, I can empathise with what the Palestinians are going through which is basically a real estate dispute with a lot of violence thrown in. But one has to admit, the book is very heavily sympathetic towards the Palestinian. I am curious about the Isr
Georgina Coutroud
May 25, 2016 Georgina Coutroud rated it it was amazing
Δεν μοιάζει με κανένα GN που κυκλοφορεί εκεί έξω..ίσως 2ο καλύτερο από το "Χαιρετίσματα από τη Σερβία".
Ο Joe Sacco μας γνωρίζει την Παλαιστίνη έτσι όπως δεν θα το κάνει κανένα ειδησεογραφικό κανάλι..
Οι ασπρόμαυρες εικόνες του επιτείνουν την τραγικότητα που βιώνουν όχι μόνο οι άνθρωποι στην περιοχή,αλλά και ευρύτερα η Ανθρωπότητα όταν πέφτει θύμα πολιτικών αποφάσεων.
Δεν διαβάζεται ευχάριστα,ίσα-ίσα προβληματίζει!
Jan 18, 2016 Sookie rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2016
When you see a city/country/area/geography in conflict, you keep wondering why some of those people just don't move away from the said conflict. You don't understand how people can go out, walk into a small hotel, meet some friends and order some tea while being fully aware that there is a great possibility the hotel might be blown up before the tea is served. Sacco walks among people who lead their everyday life laced with worry and tries to draw them. He succeeds in capturing their everyday te ...more
Sharm Alagaratnam
Jun 03, 2015 Sharm Alagaratnam rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
My last recommendation was Joe Sacco's 'Palestine', an illustrated collection recounting his two month trip to the area between 1991 and 1992. Sacco travels to various refugee camps and interviews many of its residents, detailing their stories and grieviances in painful detail.

I have to say the book made for uncomfortable reading to start with, with its stark images and severe telling of the Palestinians' every day lives and troubles, including graphic descriptions of torture and imprisonment by
Joe Sacco delivers a scathing piece of comic-journalism with Palestine. The Arab side of the story is fully ignored by the Western media since, well, the beginning of the conflict.

The treatment inflicted upon the Arab refugees is horrendous, but the Western media is never going to acknowledge it. They come and kick you out of your home. There are almost no Arab youngsters above 16 years of age who have not received a jail term. The soldiers can hold you up for 6 months. Without reason. And that
Sep 10, 2013 Nazish rated it really liked it
Every time the mid-east crises is stoked up in a conversation, a normal and most common response is "I don't know. I just want peace." Peace is such an evasive word which can guise many a horrors of war. This book was not a good read at all. But there are many things to be learned from the text (It's a very worded novel). I'll number a few points that I've found shrieking out the loudest from the book.

1. The book only narrates stories from the Palestinian side while author snuggles himself into
Huda AbuKhoti
Nov 07, 2015 Huda AbuKhoti rated it it was amazing
Palestine is a one of a kind graphic novel, at least to me. This is the first book I've read for Joe Sacco and I loved it!

This book takes place between 1991 and 1992 in several Palestinian cities, Cairo and Tel Aviv from the Israeli side. The main focal point of the book was showing the occupied land's people point of view of the story, because in the west this other side of the story is pretty much invisible.

The art style was really amazing, all the drawings were very supportive to the content
Aug 22, 2013 Nour rated it it was amazing
the best comic book I've ever read!
Apr 06, 2015 Malcolm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The graphic novel has now reached a state of widespread acceptance as a literary form, but graphic non-fiction, also known as ‘comics journalism’ has a long way to go before it is seen as a credible format. Even the label ‘comics journalism’ seems oxymoronic, and in many settings ‘graphic non-fiction’ is limited to little more than editorial cartoons and public service or politically (and occasional other) pedagogic forms of publication. If there is anyone who could alter this perception, it is ...more
I really appreciated the tackling of a complex and difficult subject in Palestine, and the skilful illustration. But I wasn't as blown away by this book as I expected to be - perhaps that was inevitable because I was aware of hype about it before I read it, and perhaps it's easy to forget how unusual it would have been when first published in 1996. I can see why presenting interviews with a number of different individuals, and placing himself in the comic as a character, was an effective and hon ...more
I wanted to rate this higher, but I'm a harsh critic with my books lately and ultimately it was more of a 'like' than a 'really like'. This book just didn't hit me like I wanted and if I'm honest, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the end. The artwork looked good, with nice varying layout styles, but it was nothing amazing to my graphic novel novice eyes. I really enjoyed the subject matter and reading about Palestinians lives, but there was something lacking for me. I'm used to reading heart wren ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
How do you say you have enjoyed a book that is filled with heartache, abuse, violence, inhumanities against your fellow man? I can however say I am richer for having read this. But, how do you know if what you have read is accurate without having lived it? Fortunately this is a biographical experience for the artist and so presumably it is an accurate presentation as he perceives his experiences in Palestine.

Reading this you are inundated with hardship and atrocity, and the reading process simul
2.5 stars - Spoilers

-Disappointing. I can't believe this won a bunch of awards. It wasn't awful, it just didn't deserve all the praise it received.

-The illustrations were too cartoony, cliched and exaggerated. All the Palestinians had missing teeth and wrinkles, and all the Israelis had massive noses. It was actually rather offensive.

-There was way too much text. It felt like I was getting the bulk of the story from the text rather than the illustrations. Also, the way the text was presented wa
Jun 08, 2013 hissi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
it was very intriguing at first, but i soon got to the realization that it is plot-less. there is absolutely no message that can be conveyed from this book whatsoever. i am already aware of the suffering in Palestine. i don't need mundane conversations with poorly illustrated art to convey that. the story lacked a message, something the author wants to deliver to the reader, you get this message even from fiction books. i felt the author thought that going all the way to the middle east where wa ...more
Kelly Bennett
Jun 24, 2015 Kelly Bennett rated it it was ok
Despite an interesting medium, Sacco seems very blasé white dude about all of this. He admittedly goes to Palestine seeking the most tragic, horrific stories he can find, but spends the rest of his time avoiding as much of the experience as possible, and keeping some serious 'journalistic distance'. He's egotistical, self-centered and seemingly oblivious to the situations nuances. Halfway through the book he gets tired of hearing about bullet wounds and beatings, and he seems to treat the hospit ...more
Fiza M.
Mar 28, 2013 Fiza M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Joe Sacco is a gifted illustrator, pada aku. Teliti dan sungguh kemas. Jalan cerita yang lebih kepada illustrated interviews tentang hal-hal sebenar yang berlaku di Palestine. Rasa macam aku pun duduk sama lepak dengan Joe Sacco minum teh dan dengar kisah-kisah orang Palestine berjuang dan menerus hidup. Boleh buat runtuh jiwa dan mata masuk habuk. Aku paling suka kisah berkenaan Ansar III- side of story yang aku tak pernah tahu.

Walaupun illustrated, ini adalah satu kisah yang berat- tak boleh
Firman Widyasmara
Jun 27, 2007 Firman Widyasmara rated it it was amazing
ah sadis... Joe Sacco benar-benar membuat buku ini jadi masterpiece untuk disimpan di kepala. gambar yang detail, cerita yang netral dan story telling yang mengalir nyaman membuat paket bukunya sendiri menjadi menarik untuk terus diikuti sampai habis dan pastinya, ingin tambah!

bercerita tentang perjalanannya menelusuri jalan-jalan Palestina dan mewartakannya dalam gambar-gambar membuat keaslian cerita di dalamnya tak terelakkan. nafas Palestina yang bergejolak juga kuat dirasakan, juga berbagai
Amir Mishali
2 and 1/2 stars.

The writing and the art were good, but I had serious problems with the one-sidedness of the writing. It's ok to show just one perspective of the story, but when you become TOO sympathetic to your subject, and you fail to ask hard questions, you end up with lies instead of history...

The problem is that this only hurts the validity of this book, and makes it hard to believe that the other things being said, which I'm sure most are true.

This could be an important journalist work, bu
Feb 02, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
Joe Sacco's PALESTINE is beautifully done and provides a stunning take on the illegal occupation. I'm constantly in awe of how much work and care is put into the creation of graphic novels, memoirs, and journalism. What I found off-putting about the text, however, was Sacco's representation of himself. The humanity and resiliency of the Palestinian people seem to always be secondary to his goal of getting the scoop, and for him to wish more tragedy and pain upon them for his own selfish purposes ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Keith rated it really liked it
Notes on Palestine:

Ch 1 - I have never had any interest in Palestine -- I'm not particularly convinced that journalism and memoir comics (this, Maus, Persepolis) are ever as interested in using the form well as they are creating something that's "hip" and accessible out of subject matter that isn't. And Sacco seems to be going to such great lengths to create something aggressive, disjointed, and unreadable that it just feels torturous picking the thing up at all. Not that Palestine should feel g
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Joe Sacco was born in Malta on October 2, 1960. At the age of one, he moved with his family to Australia, where he spent his childhood until 1972, when they moved to Los Angeles. He began his journalism career working on the Sunset High School newspaper in Beaverton, Oregon. While journalism was his primary focus, this was also the period of time in which he developed his penchant for humor and sa ...more
More about Joe Sacco...

Other Books in the Series

Palestine (2 books)
  • Palestine, Vol. 1: A Nation Occupied
  • Palestine, Vol. 2: In the Gaza Strip

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“I don't remember when exactly I read my first comic book, but I do remember exactly how liberated and subversive I felt as a result.” 50 likes
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