Joe Sacco


Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco (born October 2, 1960) is a Maltese-American comics artist and journalist. He achieved international fame through the 1996 American Book Award-winning "Palestine", and his graphic novel on the Bosnian War, "Safe Area Goražde".

Biography

Joe Sacco was born in Malta on October 2, 1960Drawn and Quarterly (2004). [http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/artBio.php?artist=a3dff7dd55575b Joe Sacco: Biography] . URL accessed on April 24, 2006.] . His father was an engineer and his mother was a teacher.Duncan Campbell (October 23, 2003). [http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1068677,00.html 'I do comics, not graphic novels'] . "The Guardian". URL accessed April 26, 2006.] At the age of one, he moved with his family to Australia,Read Yourself RAW. [http://www.readyourselfraw.com/profiles/sacco/profile_sacco.htm Profile: Joe Sacco] . URL accessed April 25, 2006.] where he spent his childhood until 1972, when they moved to Los Angeles. He began his journalism career working on the [Sunset High School] [http://www.beavton.k12.or.us/sunset/] newspaper in Beaverton, Oregon. While journalism was his primary focus, this was also the period of time in which he developed his penchant for humor and satire. He graduated from Sunset High in 1978.

Sacco earned his B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1981 in three years. He was greatly frustrated with the journalist work that he found at the time, later saying, " [I couldn't find] a job writing very hard-hitting, interesting pieces that would really make some sort of difference." After being briefly employed by the journal of the National Notary Association, a job which he found "exceedingly, exceedingly boring," and several factories, he returned to Malta, his journalist hopes forgotten. "...I sort of decided to forget it and just go the other route, which was basically take my hobby, which has been cartooning, and see if I could make a living out of that," he later told the BBC.Ben Arnold (August 27, 2004). [http://www.bbc.co.uk/collective/audio/joesacco1.ram Telephone interview with Joe Sacco] (.ram file, source: [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A2948123 Interview with Joe Sacco] ). "BBC". URL accessed April 26, 2006.]

He began working for a local publisher writing guidebooks. Returning to his fondness for comics, he wrote a Maltese romance comic named Imħabba Vera ("True Love"), one of the first comics in the Maltese language. "Because Malta has no history of comics, comics weren't considered something for kids," he told the Village Voice. "In one case, for example, the girl got pregnant and she went to Holland for an abortion. Malta is a Catholic country where not even divorce is allowed. It was unusual, but it's not like anyone raised a stink about it, because they had no way of judging whether this was appropriate material for comics or not."Hillary Chute (July 19, 2005). [http://www.villagevoice.com/people/0530,interview,66032,24.html Stand Up Comics] . "Village Voice". URL accessed April 26, 2006.]

Eventually returning to the United States, by 1985 Sacco had founded a satirical, alternative comics magazine called "Portland Permanent Press" in Portland, Oregon. When the magazine folded fifteen months later, he took a job at The Comics Journal as the staff news writer.Gary Groth (October 4, 2001). [http://www.tcj.com/aa02ws/i_sacco.html Joe Sacco, Frontline Journalist: Why Sacco went to Gorazde] . "The Comics Journal" (a magazine owned and operated by Fantagraphics Books). URL accessed on April 26, 2006.] This job provided the opportunity for him to create another satire: the comic "Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy",Fantagraphics Books. [http://www.fantagraphics.com/artist/sacco/sacco_bio.html Joe Sacco] . URL accessed on April 25, 2006.] a name he took from an overly-complicated children's toy in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

But Sacco was more interested in travelling. In 1988, he left the U.S. again to travel across Europe, a trip which he chronicled in his autobiographical comic "Yahoo". The trip lead him towards the ongoing Gulf War (his obsession with which he talks about in "Yahoo" #2), and in 1991 he found himself nearby to research the work he would eventually publish as "Palestine".

The Gulf War segment of "Yahoo" drew Sacco into a study of Middle Eastern politics, and he traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories to research his first long work. "Palestine" was a collection of short and long pieces, some depicting Sacco's travels and encounters with Palestinians (and several Israelis), and some dramatizing the stories he was told. It was serialized as a comic book from 1993 to 2001 and then published in several collections, the first of which won an American Book Award in 1996.

Sacco next travelled to Sarajevo and Goražde near the end of the Bosnian War, and produced a series of reports in the same style as "Palestine": the comics "Safe Area Goražde", "The Fixer", and the stories collected in "War's End"; the financing for which was aided by his winning of the Guggenheim Fellowship in April 2001 Guggenheim Foundation (2001). [http://www.gf.org/01fellow.html Guggenheim Foundation 2001 Fellows Page] . URL accessed October 7, 2006.] . "Safe Area Goražde" won the Eisner Award for Best Original Graphic Novel in 2001.

He has also contributed short pieces of graphic reportage to a variety of magazines, on subjects ranging from war crimes to blues, and is a frequent illustrator of Harvey Pekar's "American Splendor". Sacco currently lives in Portland.

In 2005 he has written two eight page comics depicting events in Iraq published in The Guardian [http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2006/01/20/fullsacco1.pdf] [http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2005/02/25/sacco1.pdf] , in addition to a 16 page piece in Harper's Magazine. [http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/04/0081476]

Selected bibliography

Comics

* 1988-92: "Yahoo" #1-6. Collected and published in Notes from a Defeatist (2003), Fantagraphics Books, ISBN 1-56097-510-5.
* 1993-5: "Palestine" #1-9. Collected and published in "Palestine" (2001), Fantagraphics Books, ISBN 1-56097-432-X.
* 1994: "Spotlight on the Genius that is Joe Sacco". Fantagraphics Books.
* 1997: "Christmas with Karadzic", published in "Zero Zero" #15 (Fantagraphics Books) and later in the collection "War's End" (2005), Drawn and Quarterly, ISBN 1-56097-510-5.
* 1997: "War Junkie", Fantagraphics Books, ISBN 1-56097-170-3.
* 1998: "Soba", published in "Stories from Bosnia" #1 and later in the collection "War's End" (2005), Drawn and Quarterly, ISBN 1-56097-510-5.
* 1998: "Stones", published in "Zero Zero" #25 (Fantagraphics Books).

Comic books and collections

* 2000: "". Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-470-2
* 2001: "Palestine". Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-432-X
* 2003: "". Drawn and Quarterly Books. ISBN 1-896597-60-2
* 2003: "Notes from a Defeatist". Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-510-5
* 2005: "". Drawn and Quarterly. ISBN 1-896597-92-0
* 2006: "But I Like It". Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-729-9

ee also

* New Journalism
* Alternative comics
* List of Eye magazine issues

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=273&Itemid=62 Fantagraphics Books: Joe Sacco]
* [http://www.fantagraphics.com/artist/sacco/sacco_bio.html Joe Sacco Biography From Fantagraphics]
* [http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2007/11/2008525185042679346.html Joe Sacco on Palestine] - Interview by Al Jazeera English
* [http://www.laweekly.com/general/features/brueghel-in-bosnia/2120/ Brueghel in Bosnia] Interview in L.A. Weekly.
* [http://www.motherjones.com/arts/qa/2005/07/joe_sacco.html The Art Of War] Interview in Mother Jones.
* [http://crowncommission.com/?p=74 Joe Sacco, Man of the World] Audio interview on mp3 from The Crown Commission.
* [http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/12/12/sacco/ Interview with Joe Sacco] - interview on Weekend America


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