Palestine

Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco spent two months in the occupied territories in 1991–1992 interviewing people and gathering stories. like Persepolis this book shows how powerful graphic novels can be with historical and political subjects. Palestine is a direct chronicle of his time there, a comic of him making the comic basically. it seems like the best way for this work to be presented as, unlike Persepolis, his is an outsider experience. that distinction is important as people occasionally turn the tables and question him about what the good is of them talking to him and other journalists, has media attention done anything for them? in Sacco’s 2001 foreword he acknowledges, “While Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded, no major outstanding issues … have been resolved.” as i read, i felt the stories become more and more heartbreaking, but i think it may just be the weight of these experiences multiplied across huge numbers of people—it’s impossible to see any of them as isolated incidents.

the detail in the art is impressive, and there is a great introduction by Edward Said. i had browsed this several times in bookstores, and i’m glad i finally read it all.