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Palestineby Joe Sacco
Winner of the 1996 American Book Award.
Synopses & Reviews
Prior to Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995 — Joe Sacco's breakthrough novel of graphic journalism published earlier this year — the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996. Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present, for the first time, a single-volume collection of this 288-page landmark of journalism and the artform of comics. Out of print since the wildly successful debut of Safe Area Gorazde, demand for Palestine should never be higher than with the release of this edition.
Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, by Art Spiegelman, for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically-sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium. Sacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best.
Sacco's insightful reportage takes place at the front lines, where busy marketplaces are spoiled by shootings and tear gas, soldiers beat civilians with reckless abandon, and roadblocks go up before reporters can leave. Sacco interviewed and encountered prisoners, refugees, protesters, wounded children, farmers who had lost their land, and families who had been torn apart by the Palestinian conflict
In 1996, the Before Columbus Foundation awarded Palestine the seventeenth annual American Book Award, a prestigious rarity for something told in comic book form that rightfully recognized Sacco's unique talents as both a journalist and cartoonist, stating that the author should be recognized for his "outstanding contribution to American literature," while his publisher, Fantagraphics, is "to be honored for their commitment to quality and their willingness to take risks that accompany publishing outstanding books and authors that may not prove 'cost-effective' in the short run."
This new edition of Palestine also features a new introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world's most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict.
Since the first issue of Palestine was published, Sacco has gained widespread praise for the depth of his research, the sensitivity of his handling of a delicate subject, as well as for the craft exhibited in his dynamic, sophisticated layouts and bold narrative. Palestine has been nominated as "Best New Series" in the prestigious Harvey Awards (the comics community's equivalent of the Oscars), and has garnered praise in a wide variety of publications, including The Utne Reader ("Sacco's a skillful, subtle storyteller") and the Washington City Paper ("...one of the most profound and compelling treatments of the Middle East..."). Palestine set new standards for the use of the comic book as a documentary medium, and was the first non-fiction graphic novel to invite serious comparison with Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus.
"Palestine, the place, as Sacco describes it, is full of contradictions, family love and inhuman violence, horror and humor. Palestine, the comic, is down-to-earth and engaging, a groundbreaking work of journalism....Sacco's art itself is irresistible. With unusual angles of view, distorted, exaggerated faces that somehow seem realer than real life itself....The writing in Palestine, like in most of Sacco's work, especially Yahoo, is among the best in comics, never simplistic, never boring, pushing the borders of what both comics and journalism are capable of." Kathleen E. Bennett, The Stranger
"This mature work is important and has never been more timely." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Sacco has pioneered a journalistic form that manages to be both deeply informative and highly entertaining." Time Out New York
"Palestine deserves a place among the very best of documentary." Journal of Palestinian Studies
"[Sacco's] obviously got the calling. His stuff is obviously well wrought, with dizzying pages and good rhythm." Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus
"Reading [Palestine]...you're astounded by the wealth of human voices, the literally warts-and-all passion of every side of the conflict." Entertainment Weekly
"This new one-volume edition of Joe Sacco's Palestine comics evokes my first trip to the occupied Palestinian territories....[It] faithfully represents the contradictions and striking images of the conflict, and...renders them visually and powerfully....I couldn't think of a better medium to explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to someone than this book, which stands out as an honest account of one man's attempt to make sense of it all, as well as a work of art in its own right. Powerfully-told stories...well-researched facts, all couched in Sacco's humanity and disbelief at the people he meets and the events he sees....This book is a 'must have'." Nigel Parry, The Electronic Intifada
"Through a format traditionally associated with fantasy illustration and narration, Sacco finds the balance between the potent images and text necessary to enable a historical and cultural understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....Although it may be easier for Americans not to hear about the military occupation in Palestinian territories and the civilian casualties from U.S. manufactured (and tax-payer funded) weapons, Sacco's reporting and images make the history more digestible than what is usually found in Western media. Fortunately, Sacco refrains from moralizing the conflict as well. Instead, he offers readers a better understanding of the too-often neglected Palestinian experience." Maureen Murphy, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Based on years of research and extended visits to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (Sacco conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine is the first major comics work of political nonfiction by Sacco, who has often been called the first comic book journalist and single-handedly pioneered the medium to universal acclaim. This new edition of Palestine also features a lengthy introduction by the outspoken political essayist and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world's most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern Conflict.
A landmark of journalism and the art form of comics. Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s, this is a major work of political and historical nonfiction.
Prior to Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995—Joe Sacco's breakthrough novel of graphic journalism—the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996. Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics. Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium. Sacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best. This edition of Palestine also features an introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world's most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict.
A single volume collection of the landmark novel by Joe Sacco.
About the Author
Joe Sacco is a Maltese citizen currently residing in Queens, NY where he makes his living as a cartoonist and journalist.
Sacco received his bachelor of arts degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 1981. Two years later he returned to his native Malta, where his first professional cartooning work (a series of romance comics) was published. After relocating back to Portland, he co-edited and co-published the monthly comics newspaper Portland Permanent Press from 1985 to 1986; PPP lasted 15 issues, and included early work by such cartoonists as John Callahan and J.R. Williams. In 1986, Sacco moved to the Los Angeles area, where he worked on staff for Fantagraphics Books, editing the news section for the trade publication The Comics Journal and creating the satirical comic magazine Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy.
From 1988 to 1992, Sacco criss-crossed the globe, producing six issues of his own comic book Yahoo for Fantagraphics Books as he traveled. He returned to Malta for a half a year; he spent a couple of months traveling around Europe with a rock band (an experience he recorded in Yahoo #2); he lived for close to two years in Berlin, where he drew dozens of record sleeves and posters for German record labels and concert promoters; and, in late 1991 and early 1992, he spent two months in Israel and the occupied territories, traveling and taking notes. When he finally returned again to Portland in mid-1992, it was with the intention of communicating what he had witnessed and heard during his Mid-Eastern jaunt — to combine the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comics storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighted situation. Palestine, the first issue of which was released in January, 1993, was the result.
Sacco has contributed work to a wide range of comics magazines including Drawn & Quarterly, Prime Cuts, Real Stuff, Buzzard, and R. Crumb's Weirdo. He was a recipient of the prestigious American Book Award in 1996 for Palestine.
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