Sekventiellt (Sequentially) is a blog about the art of comics - from my perspective. I write reviews and news updates, do reportage from festivals and so on. As I live in Sweden, much of what I write about is based here and in our Nordic neighbours. I update regularly, so feel free to use RSS feedto keep track of what's happening.
Title: GAZA - fotnoter till ett krig
Original title: GAZA - Footnotes to a War
By: Joe Sacco
Language: Swedish (English)
JoeSaccoisoneof theworld'smostcelebratedcartoonists.Hehas, almost all by himself, establishedthe genre of comics journalism and inbook afterbookshown us hisskills, both asa journalistandcartoonist.
Out of the number ofbooks which Sacco has produced,fourhave so farbeen published inSwedish, and out of these, Gaza- fotnoter till ett krig, is without a doubt the best. The story showshowSaccogoestotheso-calledGazaStripforanumber ofmonths, investigating amassacrethat occurredin 1956,whenIsraelitroopskilledseveral hundreds ofPalestinian civilians.Althoughthisis probablythelargestmassacre on Palestinianland, it hasremainedafootnoteinhistory, something that Saccowantsto investigate and ultimately change.
The storyfollowsSaccoashesearchesforinformationwhile experiencingwhat it is liketoliveinGazainthe 2000s,withconstantattacksby theIsraelis,bulldozersthatdestroyhouse afterhouse, andso on.This story isinterwovenwiththestoriesSacco retells from the interviews with the survivorsof the 1956 massacre. The latter slowlyforms intoa coherentpicture ofwhat actuallyhappened, which is horrendous on a scale that is almost hard to comprehend.Everythingis reproducedinSacco'srealistic,meticulous blackand whitestyle, which makes the read much more harrowing than if it had done in a more expressive style.
What makes this the best book so far from Sacco, in my humble opinion, is that he adds a third dimension, talking about the truthfulness of the stories he is told, how memory is always subjective and also fades over time, using many statements to try to get as close as possible to what actually happened. The seriousness with which Sacco has undertaken the job of uncovering the truth is also reflected in the appendix at the end of the book, with quotes from some of the printed sources that Sacco has used. Not something you see at the end of most graphic novels.
Sacco didn't just establish the genre of comics journalism, he excels in it, keeping a standard so high that no-one else comes even close. Thisisoneofthebestbooks thatyou canget holdof, told in the comics format. So find of a copy, in whatever language you prefer, and read it. You won't be disappointed.
I hang out a lot with comics artist and sometimes I give inspiration to a character in a story, or a portrait may end up in my trusted sketchbook. I will continually collect these portraits here. Click on the names below to see the images.