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. “…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...
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