Monday, March 14, 2005
Joe Sacco - Palestine
Sacco’s 285-page visual account of life in the occupied territories is told in the first person, meaning that Joe, a 30 or 40-something cartoonist from Portland, Oregon is included in the story. Palestine is sometimes funny, most of the time devastating, always real.
"In a world where Photoshop has outed the photograph to be a liar, one can now allow artists to return to their original function – as reporters," said Pulitzer Prize- winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
In fact, Sacco’s work has been compared to that of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comic, Maus. Published throughout the 1980s, the ongoing comic book Maus told the story of the Holocaust using characters that are that of their stereotypical animal equivalent: the Nazis were represented by cats, the Jews by mice, and the Poles by pigs.
Sacco, however, does just the opposite. His work abolishes stereotypes and hinders simplification. His characters are real, rendered in all their humanity and disgrace. He captures their joy and humility. But ultimately, what makes Palestine so remarkable are the stories and scenarios that Sacco transcribed visually onto paper.
Most people have a really unclear picture of what it is like to be in the occupied territories and have a skewed idea of who is the aggressor and who is the victim.