Joe Sacco’s job isn’t to write funny cartoons that belong in the Sunday morning paper. His works also aren’t average articles packed with nothing but boring statistics. Sacco may be a journalist, but there’s much more to him than his notepad and pen; he’s a traveler, an artist, and someone who thinks making a difference in the world is important by putting people’s stories out there. According to his Wikipedia page, Sacco had a hard time finding a job with hard-hitting, attention-grabbing pieces that would affect his audience.
So instead of working a job where he wasn’t interested in what he was writing about, he decided that trying to make a career out of his passion for cartooning was worth the effort. Combining these two hobbies of his led him to write “The Underground War in Gaza”. Combining serious topics and artistic visuals allows Sacco to set the scene and portray characters in a new light that we wouldn’t normally experience by reading a newspaper article. On the first page of his comic, he sets the scene with a drawing of a bulldozer demolishing a neighborhood street.
Sacco then draws himself into the comic, interviewing a woman and her child. He doesn’t show his face, in order to avoid distraction and to keep the audience’s attention on the characters. “What would you do in my place? What would you do? ”(151), she says with a terrified look on her face. How else would we be able to understand the anxiety and grief this woman is experiencing, if it were not for Sacco’s drawings? He ends the comic with a scene of the town covered in rubble, with not a soul in sight.
In the short story “A&P”, the character Sammy quits his job for a few different reasons. In the podcast professor Higgins suggest that she quits for two different reasons. Sammy wants to impress the girls. The other reason was because; Sammy mentions that once you make a decision it is fatal not to go back on it. I agree with both reasoning’s. I also agree with both professors that it is a ...
When I returned to Block O to look up the woman who had asked me what I would do in her place, I couldn’t find her. ”(154) An important artistic choice Sacco made that readers should notice is that he began and ended the comic with this heartbreaking story of this woman and her child. By illustrating these characters into his comic, the audience is able to attach themselves to their struggle and feel empathetic for them. Instead of reading a uniform article with facts and quotes, Sacco allowed readers to dig into the emotions of these hurt and now homeless civilians.
Simply by drawing a frown or worried expression, he translates the anxiety and feelings from this woman to his readers. I couldn’t help but wonder about the woman and her child throughout the comic, and by the ending I was so engaged that I felt like I was there, standing in the middle of the gravel road with Sacco looking for her. Illustrating the story of the citizens of Gaza lets those of us who cannot experience what they are going through empathize them, and at the same time we are being educated on wars like these that we do not experience in everyday life.
Sacco had all the control in his hands while creating this comic, so he was able to choose how his audience perceived it. While reading a story, each of us creates our own perception of how it may play out in real life. Instead of leaving us to do this, he gives you the pictures and the story line at once, satisfying your mind’s needs, letting you focus on the story line. He used visuals like the careless army general nonchalantly smoking a cigarette, explaining how they “don’t just randomly destroy homes” (152), while Sacco was able to show how much destruction they actually did do.
After much thought and consideration, I decided to focus my controlling purpose on the mindset of Sacco as he published this comic, and how he thought his audience would react to it. Not only does he speak about how this conflict greatly affected the individuals involved, but he wrote and drew in a way that added an unspoken conflict which effects the readers as well. Although those who read this may not be educated on the topic or involved in the war, our entire planet is effected by this conflict.
The armed forces, the government officials, the tax payers, the family members of those at war, etc. make up a small portion of the list of individuals effected by this war. I believe the ultimate reason Sacco chooses to write these serious stories in comic form is so that the audience forms a connection with the characters. The readers are able to put themselves in these people’s shoes when they tell their story, pushing you to feel emotions that you are not used to feeling if you have not been through something as horrific as this war.
Hitler, leader of the German Nazi party and, from 1933 until his death, dictator of Germany. He rose from the bottom of society to conquer first Germany and then most of Europe. Riding on a wave of European fascism after World War I and favored by traditional defects in German society, especially its lack of cohesion, he built a Fascist regime unparalleled for barbarism and terror. His rule ...
I believe Sacco’s choice of mixing these two types of journalism and finding a medium between them allows more emotion to come across to the reader. I think this is also the same reason why the New York Times often includes one-frame political comics; they get the point across in a different way that an article wouldn’t, and it makes the topic have a more powerful message. This particular combination allows us to develop a connection with the topic at hand and increases the power of the message during our reading experience.