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The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,600 ratings  ·  100 reviews
In The Fixer Joe Sacco returns to Bosnia, the setting for his first masterpiece, Safe Area Gorazde. In 2001 he went back to Sarajevo to meet up with his old 'fixer', an army veteran called Neven who, for the right price, could arrange anything for the visiting journalist. Sacco gradually realized that Neven's own story - a microcosm of the Balkan conflict itself - might be ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 5th 2004 by Jonathan Cape (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,786)
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Jeff
The Fixer is another great entry in Joe Sacco's series of comics reportage from the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Although it is clearly not a major work on the level of Safe Area Gorazde, the present volume is nonetheless an important addendum to the larger narrative that Sacco brought home from his trips to the former Yugoslavia. [return][return]This time around, the author focuses on his own frustrations in gathering information in post-combat Sarajevo, and his desparate reliance on the unreliabl ...more
Christopher
This is the story of Nevin, a former soldier who fought for one of the warlords active in Sarajevo in the 90's. The story bounces back between Nevin's war years, and what his life is like after the war. Killing, boozing, shooting pool and dying are pretty much par for the course. This story is much more personal than Sacco's work in "Palestine" but still manages to convey much of the social and political situation of the times.
Aaron
Apr 02, 2007 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comic journalism fans
A fixer, in the parlance of the international press, is a local who "fixes" visiting journos with access. He provides them with translation and access - sometimes directly to the front lines of battle. In this case, however, what he fixes Joe Sacco with is his own sad story, and story of the shattered lives of some other figures in the Balkan war. As is customary, he weaves multiple stories into the major story line of the book, but in this case he jumps back and forth continuously, making it to ...more
Kyle
Joe Sacco is an enigma. He is unarguably a journalist, and a great one at that. Traveling to war zones and areas of turmoil to interview people and let them unspool their stories at a slow and even pace. But Sacco doesn't record them with a video camera or even photos he makes photo realistic pictures with just a twinge of Art Spiegelman's Raw in them, creating a sort of twisted reality that fits the usually horrific content of these people's stories.

And Fixer focuses only on a very small group
...more
Tomislav
This is a graphic novel, except that it is hard-covered, large-sized, and more jounalism than novel. The story is framed by a journalist/author who travels to Sarajevo in 2001. He remembers his earlier connection with the shadowy Neven - a fixer, who arranged contacts for the journalist during the final year of the Bosnian War in 1995. Neven, in turn, recalls his own stories of being a Serbian Sarajevan in an irregular Bosnian militia, fighting the Četniks. It is a fascinating look into the warl ...more
Nick
This is Joe Sacco's fascinating look at the Yugoslavian conflict, the warlords who dominated Sarajevo, and the man from the title; Neven -- The Fixer. Half the book is Sacco looking for or hanging out with Neven, who misses no opportunity to drain Sacco's wallet, and the other half is Neven's stories of Sarajevo and Sacco's subsequent thoughts and research. Sacco's portrayal of Neven results in one of the most memorable characters I've read of in some time. Subtle, mysterious, broke and out of s ...more
Christina
During his coverage of the Bosnian genocide and the Balkan conflict, Sacco worked with a rather shady character known as a “fixer” – someone who can assist foreign journalists with gaining access to the frontlines of the conflict, the warlords and gangs running the countryside as the nation is torn apart, and victims to provide stories to color the news articles being written about the region.

Sacco’s “fixer”, known as Neveen, was a former solider involved in the conflict if not the genocide its
...more
Karyl
I adore Joe Sacco's work. I still think about Safe Area Gorazde; it affected me so deeply. In this work, Sacco describes Neven, a "fixer," a man paid by foreign journalists for his translations and his memories. As a result, one is never sure how much of what Neven says is true, and how much is embellished for the sake of a few extra marks.

As usual, I enjoyed Sacco's art very much. Some of his frames are hard to look at closely, dealing as they do with some very gruesome subject matter. But I th
...more
Jeff
Powerful stuff!!! Sacco, one of the earliest and most important voices in the field of graphic journalism, dives deep into the fog of war to tell the story of Neven, a "fixer" who assists Western journalists navigate the complex and dangerous labyrinth of war-torn Yugoslavia in the 90's. What Sacco discovers is that Neven himself and his experiences during the seige of Sarajevo is a fascinating subject, and what emerges is a complex portrait of a person, part-con man, part-criminal, part-hero, w ...more
Kase! Wickman
Dec 09, 2008 Kase! Wickman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Claire Fox
Realistically drawn and truthfully told. I didn't think there could be a journalistic graphic novel until I read this, but the reporting is way better than some of the shit I've read in the Globe.
Huda AbuKhoti
It's not a historically accurate book and Joe makes sure to let us know that. This book is just a way to put spotlight on fixers; They are paid witnesses who get the most out of wars and battles by telling their stories to reporters and journalists. The fixer in this book "Neveen" is a former soldier, who had so many detailed and vivid stories in his pocket for joe... He certainly never ran out of things to engage him in that atrocious Bosnian war. But were they true? were his stories even worth ...more
Sarah
Wow the drawings in this book are amazing. So many tiny tiny lines.
Libor
The Fixer is a great story. It doesn't use all the usual stereotypes about the Balkans and it still quite catches the atmosphere after the war. After the war, when former soldiers had nothing else to do than try to survive in the new world, new situation. A world where maybe their stories about how well they did during the war weren't going to impress anyone anymore. Everyone is looking after themselves, nobody's paying attention to "great and glorious" deeds done just few months ago; except may ...more
Damir
Apr 06, 2015 Damir rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Interested in the Balkan War
Highly anticipated book when I first heard about this graphic novel. I had already read one of Joe Sacco's other graphic novels, "Safe Area Gorzade," and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Therefore, logically speaking, another book on the topic (Bosnia and the Balkan's War) by the same author, in the same style, I should enjoy it just as much, Right? Right?...

Well... Not exactly...

I will say I enjoyed the book, but just barely. The stories, characters, and mystery of the fixer did enough to keep me readi
...more
Jessi
The Fixer is a unique look at an odd bit of history. It weaves in general history of the Bosnian war in the early and mid-90s. But the conflict itself is not the main focus of the narrative. Who knew that you could make a seriously good living in a war-torn country by finding people with horrific stories to tell for the droves of journalists that flock to these types of conflicts? And although this profession is the title of the work, this still isn't really the focus. Instead, the story revolve ...more
Corinne
I guess when you read the subtitle "A Story From Sarajevo" you should know that this not a pretty story. it's the story of Neven, whom the author meets in Sarajevo. Neven is a man who is willing to sell his war stories to the press and get them the "inside" story - he's a crass, chain smoking veteran of an incredibly complicated war. The way the story is told, I never completely believed anything Neven said - which probably exactly the point. Journalists are constantly having to decide whether w ...more
Elizabeth
More of a character study than a war investigation. Sacco almost relaxes into this microcosm as relief from the bigger picture he was faced with portraying in Safe Area Gorazde. Also, it further punctures, as so much of Sacco's work does, the idea of journalistic objectivity, and the story itself becomes about the people who bring you 'the story'. On one hand there's Joe, who looks like a bumbling and naive American reporter, and on the other hand there's Neven, a Bosnian ex-soldier who helps re ...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nhw.livejournal.com/1141540.html[return][return]This is, in a sense, a sequel to Sacco's brilliant Safe Area Gorazde, but following just one person, Neven, a Sarajevo Serb, a former fighter on the Bosnian side in the war who Sacco got to know as his "fixer" when he first visited Sarajevo just after the war ended in 1995. (I first went there myself in early 1997, and the city of Sacco's book is definitely the one I knew.)[return][return]Anyone who has worked in that sort of environment kno ...more
Nadia Fadhillah
Belakangan hidupku penuh komik (selain buku kuliah. Dan Joe Sacco adalah penulis graphic novel yang wajib dibaca di saat-saat begini. Aku selalu suka Joe Sacco. Beda dari buku-buku yang bikin dia terkenal, Palestine dan Footnotes in Gaza, buku ini latar belakangnya Sarajevo. Sebuah kota yang dulu penuh konflik di Bosnia. Keren banget.

Meskipun aku punya buku ini dengan tidak halal (ngeprin ebook), tapi mudah-mudahan ilmu dari buku ini halal, amiin.
Joe
Sacco once again takes us to some god-forsaken part of the world in order to find the human angle on yet another atrocity, this time to the Balkans and Sarajevo a few years after the end of the conflict there. Here we meet his 'Fixer', the most important man in any war journos life when he's out on assignment in places like this. The fixer is the guy who can set you up, get you in touch with the people you want to talk to, find you the angle you need on your story. But the war is over, and stori ...more
Madeleine
I decided to read this because I'm impatient for Joe Sacco's new book, Footnotes in Gaza. I wasn't expecting this to be amazing, but it was. I'm coming to the conclusion that pretty much anything Sacco writes and draws is amazing.

I'm old enough to remember the siege of Sarajevo, barely. Actually, I was living in Europe at the time and sort of obsessed with the conflict (hey, I was an intense, political kid...I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone). Here and in Safe Area Gorazde, Sacco really comp
...more
Edna
Although I had a bit of trouble follow the timeline afforded in the book because chapters jumped forward and backward, Sacco does a great job of describing the fine line between personal involved in retrieving "the new" in a highly volatile political environment when vying for power becomes the utmost important governing issue (under the guise of ethnic nationalism). There's no mistaking the violence and corruption with illustrations that are dark and vivid.
Yofish
Jan 12, 2009 Yofish rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yofish by: long WaPo article
Shelves: read-graphic
Eh. Wasn't so excited about the art. "The Fixer" is a Sarajevan who fought in the war and now makes his money from journalists who want to be shown around the city and the war. (The author/illustrator was, apparently, one such journalist.)

Some of it is about how the author is never quite sure how truthful all the stories are that the Fixer tells. But mostly it offers a particular vantage point of the war. Its history is a little hard to follow (for me, mostly because most of the names are compl
...more
Valeria
Im studying to be a journalist and Im shocked in the best way with such a smart and clever way to portraying the discovers made about true life events and interviews... Such an amazing piece of work. Speechless it truly shows some of the complexity of war and the relationship between governments and paramilitary forces
Stephen
Another tale from the former Yugoslavia by Joe Sacco. I enjoyed this a lot - a good comic. The book focuses on Neven, a "fixer" for international visitors (mostly journalists) who need someone to show them the ropes of Sarajevo. Through Neven, it tells the story of Sarajevo in the Yugoslavian war - the sieges and the internal struggles. One thing it does really well is show the relationship between the unofficial paramilitary groups and the Bosnian government - naturally, it's a pretty ugly stor ...more
Aapo
Gorazde-kirjan jälkeen luettuna tässä albumissa tuntui olevan juuri ne hyvät ominaisuudet, jotka Gorazdesta puuttuivat. Albumi oli tarinallisempi muutenkin kuin vain sotahistoriamielessä, ja vaikka tekstiä oli tässäkin paljon, oli tämä kuitenkin relevanttia sarjakuvaa. Tämä oli myös uskottavampi siinä mielessä, että tässä oli myös muita pahiksia kuin serbit, eikä mikään ollut kovin mustavalkoista (paitsi se sarjakuva, heh). Sotaahan tämä käsittelee, mutta yhden mielenkiintoisen henkilön nostamin ...more
Masha Toit
I was impressed by Joe Sacco's "Palestine", which is why I read this book.
It is also fascinating, although I found it to be a smaller book, somehow. Joe Sacco tells the story of Neven, a veteran of Sarajevo's civil war. Neven is a Serb who fought against the Serbian Nationalists, and now survives as a "fixer", an insider who connects journalists to the people and places they need for their stories. Neven is the ultimate unreliable narrator, and Sacco plays with this aspect, making you doubt him,
...more
Jay
Stack black and white drawings and a stark story from a man who lived through, even fought in, the siege of Sarajevo. I found the storyline a little jumpy (despite the inclusion of years in the drawings to tell us when we were jumping). I think the purpose of the changes in timeline was to show cause-and-effect between different times, but I didn't always get that... perhaps because I set the book aside at a lot of the time transitions.

I think this books does a great job of walking a line betwee
...more
Stedwards
i love sacco - not my favorite, but as always on point, intimately observed and well constructed. his amazing art really shines.
Jennifer
This is the second Joe Sacco comic I've read, and I thought it was alright. Footnotes in Gaza is pretty long and heavy compared to The Fixer, but I think I preferred the detail to the story. The background in this felt fairly rushed and I had trouble keeping track of all the people and events, although I suppose it does reflect just how complicated war is with no clear sides. It's always interesting to read these journalistic comics, especially since I would probably not read it in another form ...more
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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...
Palestine Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995 Footnotes in Gaza Palestine, Vol. 1: A Nation Occupied Journalism

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