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Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics.
Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium.
Sacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best. This edition of Palestine also features an introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world's most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict.
288 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1996
Anyway... it's not like I'm here to mediate... and let's face it, my comics blockbuster depends on conflict; peace won't pay the rent.And whilst his tone is definitely more on the humanistic and sarcastic end, you can tell as a reader how this is simply a means to make the comic book more appealing, and not Joe Sacco's true nature. I actually appreciated that he kept his tone light (some might even call it disrespectful in certain situations), because it showed the horribleness and morbid nature of the events. Whether he describes torture, mistreatment by the officials, the horrible conditions in prison camps like Ansar II and III, threats of rape, demolished homes ... it never gets visually too explicit to become unbearable, and I actually appreciate that.
Yes, yes, we all want peace, whatever that is, but peace can mean different things, too, and isn't described identically by all who wish to imagine it.Palestine is neither a bleak nor an overly hopeful look at the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It fits right in the middle: it's a realistic one. Sacco tells the stories of the people he met, to show their hardships and accomplishments, for an audience who thus far hasn't really cared for them. He makes us care. He forces us to take a look at this horrible situation, and (from my standpoint) it's shocking that even 30 years later, the same conflict persists, the crimes go on. We, as a people, have to do better than this.
They destroyed everything. There is no sign that we ever lived there.