Sacco spent two months during the winter of 1991-92 living in Jerusalem and visiting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to see for himself what life was like for Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. He has produced a fascinating you-are-there-with-me comics account as impressive for its idiosyncratic personal tone as for its scrupulous documentation of human-rights abuses and lively accounts of ordinary Palestinians (in East Jerusalem, the West Bank towns and the decrepit refugee camps). In this volume (the sequal will focus on the Gaza Strip and more recent events), he details his encounters, discussions and interviews with a wide range of West Bank personalities: Arab shopkeepers, refugees from 1948, rock-throwing Palestinian teenagers, teachers, intellectuals, former prisoners, Israeli soldiers, members of the peace movement, American Jews and some terrorists as well. Like other rights investigators, he documents some of the better known abuses-arbitrary beatings by the IDF, administrative detention (arrest without charges), house demolitions and appalling prison conditions-especially at the notorious Ansar III prison. His final section is a wry but typically informative section on the position of Palestinian women in a society in which wife battering is ``part of Arab culture.'' His drawings are simply wonderful, combining great facility and compositional invention with a fluid line and a gift for the economical use of intensive linear detail. There is nothing else quite like this in alternative comics. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994 Release date: 07/01/1994 Genre: Fiction
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