Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Palestine - Joe Sacco

last year deborah ellis experienced a lot of furor over a book entitled "three wishes", in which she traveled to israel and spoke with children on both sides of the israeli-palestinian conflict. basically, some organizations, like the uja, took offense at one particular story presented by a young palestinian girl whose sister had been a suicide bomber. it presented the story of the suicide bomber, not from the typical western media viewpoint that we normally see, but helped us to understand what would make someone do something like that. i thought "three wishes" was an amazingly balanced book, that presented both sides of the conflict, which is something we don't normally see.

"palestine" accomplishes a similar feat. joe sacco is an american journalist who travelled to israel back in the 90s. "palestine" is the story of the time he spent in the occupied territories speaking with displaced palestinians. it was his intention to share with people the palestinian side of the story. however, rather than do this in a more traditional format (read: book) sacco published his travel diaries in the form of a graphic novel. this is a powerful and informative book, and a must read for anyone with an interest in the situation in the middle east, or who likes non-fiction graphic novels. if you enjoy this sort of thing i would recommend also checking guy delisle's "pyongyang" and will eisner's "last day in vietnam", and of course the rest of sacco's catalogue.

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