Journalism

Joe Sacco. Metropolitan, $29 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9486-2
This volume of Sacco’s shorter pieces makes an outstanding companion to his acclaimed book-length works, which include Safe Area Gorazde and Footnotes in Gaza. In a short preface titled “A Manifesto, Anyone?” Sacco succinctly lays out his goals and predispositions with regard to his medium, both embracing and answering the hackneyed criticisms that crop up whenever someone is alarmed by the concept of cartoon journalism. It’s hard to take issue with Sacco’s ethics or politics, which are far from concealed or misleading; he goes so far as to draw himself into many of his stories—not out of egocentricity, but to make clear how he foundthe story and the circumstances under which he gained information. The stories in this volume run from 1998 to 2011. Whether traveling to Hebron, Iraq, India, or his native Malta, Sacco’s great strength is in digging up dramatic individual stories that are illustrative of larger social or political problems. Although hints of the work of Will Elder, R. Crumb, and Art Spiegelman can be found in Sacco’s appealing black-and-white art, the sum effect is his highly recognizable own. The book is a powerful record of voices that would have otherwise gone largely unheard. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2012
Release date: 06/19/2012
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