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The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,756 ratings  ·  152 reviews
When bombs are falling and western journalism is the only game left in town "fixers" are the people who sell war correspondents the human tragedy and moral outrage that makes news editors happy.

It's dangerous, a little amoral and a lot desperate.

Award-winning comix-journalist Joe Sacco goes behind the scene of war correspondence to reveal the anatomy of the big scoop. He b
Hardcover, 105 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  2,756 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Pramod Nair
“In Sarajevo the pieces are back in place too. Never mind there’s no work or money…”
the shops are open… the trams are running… the café’s are housing the idle & spewing a relentless Eurobeat…
And with every few steps one relentless Eurobeat drowns out another, but all the relentless Eurobeats cannot drown out the silence, which is the most relentless thing of all…

When Joe Sacco - the journalist & cartoonist who is regarded as the creator of the ‘War Correspondence Comics’ genre – visited a post-w
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, comics
An excellent expose of the Bosnian War told from the perspective of one of its most conflicted participants.
Gorab Jain
Joe Sacco extracts the most delicate (and entertaining!) info from a war zone.
Being used to Sacco's art form and narration, picked this as a comfort read.... but this small book got dragged across several months for the lack of intent. The incidents felt repetitive in nature.

The most interesting part was - highly unreliable narrator!
Which added to the fun factor, but heavily inflicted on facts.

Overall didn't enjoy it as much as his other books.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-books
The ending was not fulfilling - rather it was abrupt. I appreciate Joe Sacco's eccentric writing style. His work is sharp, clear-cut & straight forward as always. His raw black & white sketches with intrinsic details reflect the war-time mood so well. However, this piece of work is not anywhere near his "Palestine". Palestine's contents were far better, refined & Joe himself was very different in that piece of work.

In this book Joe takes us to the Bosnian war (1992-95) through the eye of a fixer
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow the drawings in this book are amazing. So many tiny tiny lines.
B. Gary Bruni
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A real story with dirty people among houses and tragedy of the '90 war ...more
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Aditya आदित्य
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: garphic-novels
Its about a war
which was fought for
the city of Sarajevo.

The protagonist
shrouded in mist
is a Serb named Neven.

The drawings: sharp
and the story-line: stark
in this graphic novel.

No wonder the author
is well-known for other
comics that he wrote.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Joe Sacco playing at par. His method of presenting international events through individual perspectives is brilliant.
Kase! Wickman
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Sonali Ekka
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The Fixer is about Neven, a fixer from Sarajevo. Joe Sacco met him in his first trip to Sarajevo during the seige in the 90's. While the story is about Neven, it describes the situation in Sarajevo during the war.

So far, I had only heard of Sarajevo in the song "Bosnia" by the Cranberries, and I remember hearing about Bosnian war in the news when I was a child. I only knew that there was a war in Bosnia, why was it fought, who fought it and who won, were things that I never got to, or cared to
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a nice book that took me deep down Sarajevo and the conflicts, murders and blood that have been spilled there all seen from the eyes of Neven, Joe Sacco just as his amazing prier works did a very good job in reporting the state in which this city has been, I definitely recommand his work for people who want to dive in the history of conflicts around the world.
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
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
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fixer was recommended to me years ago by my editor and almost three years later, I've discovered this journalistic gem that makes me chill at both J. Sacco's narrative and visual storytelling. His story's conduit is Neven, a former army veteran-turned fixer, who "fixes" access for foreign journalists looking for a stories to write and report in the 90s war-torn Bosnia.

If you're a journalist, chances are, you've bumped into characters like Neven at least once. The source (and fixer) who's fas
Nicholas Whyte[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
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 Edwards
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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, graphical
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
Oliver Hodson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recently read Sacco's 'Safe Area Goradze' and although it did carry through with certain characters, it was more driven by events. This tale is more centred on Neven, the Fixer, who guides Joe through Sarajevo, and you get a pretty amazing relationship developing and a meditation on truth. I thought it was pretty nice that as Sacco most doubts Neven, and as Neven doubts himself, the actuality and truth of his involvement in Celo's team in the war are revealed on more solid foundations. It stil ...more
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
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, war-comic
The fixer is a fairly okay graphic novel by war correspondent and investigative journalist, Joe Sacco. While it is a short read on the aftermath of the Yugoslav war that started in the 1990's, it offers a specific glimpse into the life - pre, post and during the war from Neven's and other warlords' point of view.
It took me a while to feel invested in the storyline and I attribute this to the author's eccentric storytelling skills. By no means, is it a bad thing, but towards the end I felt like
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educate-yourself
Sacco focuses on Neven, a "fixer" who helps foreign journalists in Sarajevo for cash. It's never fully decided whether what Neven reports is true or exaggerated (seems likely) but his stories are interesting and lead into a introduction to the history of paramilitary defenders of Sarajevo, a more cosmopolitan ethnically-mixed enclave of Bosnia that was battered by Serb-Nationalist offenses. The dirty world of the paramilitary groups that defended Sarajevo are an eye-opener for the complexities o ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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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

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