Joe Sacco, the most famous journo-cartoonist active today, started out as a correspondent for American newspapers and periodicals.
After a few years in this profession, when he realized his editors permitted him to write only about organizations that advertised in the magazines for which he worked, he quit and decided to devote his time to drawing comics. Very quickly, however, he recognized that his urge to write had not subsided.
In the early 1990s, Sacco followed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with great interest. When he felt the American coverage of what was happening in the Middle East was shallow and imbalanced, he decided to go to Gaza. That was during the first intifada, and Sacco spent two months in the Palestinian Authority territories. He interviewed dozens of Palestinians, heard about their encounters with settlers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and experienced the hardships of their everyday lives.
It took him three years to transfer his experiences to paper. Some of them were published in the American press, and his book, "Palestine," which was published in 2002, earned high praise.
In the book, Sacco drew his experiences and the people he met, spreading out the facts he collected concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His own image appears throughout the book, and the writer's position is conspicuously subjective. He lets other speak, but always adds his own reactions. For example, he doubts the veracity of a story he hears from another journalist, shudders with fear when he becomes caught up in a violent demonstration, and is speechless when two girls from Tel Aviv ask him why he does not present the Israeli side of the story.
Sacco visited Bosnia four times in the mid-1990's, made copious notes about the bloody civil war raging around him and illustrated it in his next two books, "Save Area Gorazde" and "War's End," which was published six months ago.
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