Cartoon Journalism

Joe Sacco Cartoon JournalismNormally I write about poetry, but this post is about cartoons. Heart-wrenching, bone-chilling, unsettling black and white comics, the more so because they are based solely on reality. They are drawn by cartoon journalist Joe Sacco and treat subjects like Palestine, Bosnia and World War I .

I had a chance to hear Sacco speak at the Cartagena Hay Festival, and his conference was by far my favorite. He spoke at length about the difficulties, and wonders, of interviewing people who had gone through great personal tragedies in order to create his books. One of the things he said that I want to share is:

I try to depict victims with a small “v.”

He does this by drawing his subjects, or rather muses, going through the daily tasks of building fires, baking, taking care of small children. As Sacco told a packed auditorium, for them, there is a period of victimhood, but then there follows a somewhat normal life filled with everyday concerns.

Here follows another statement I found interesting:

Victims are not angels.

This might be a bold and, to some, even controversial statement, but it is one that helps me believe that life after death is indeed a possibility.

This post is part of my ongoing collaboration with Zeteo is Reading. For more, please click here. 


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