Nov 12 2013
If you’re not a history buff, it’s likely you’ve never heard of the Battle of the Somme. But now acclaimed award-winning political cartoonist Joe Sacco’s latest book focuses simply on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, for it was that Battle that definitely launched the First World War.
The first day of the Battle of the Somme is seen as the beginning of the modern era of warfare, and was also the day that British forces experienced their most devastating loss of life. Twenty thousand soldiers were killed and 40,000 injured on July 1, 1916.
Joe Sacco’s book called The Great War, is an artistic panaroma in an accordion style book measuring 24 feet long and wordlessly chronicling the events that unfolded on that infamous day in history. The scene Sacco draws moves from left to right in both time and space, through day into night and back into day again as soldiers prepare, move into position, are slaughtered, and finally laid to rest. Accompanying his book is an essay by historian Adam Hochschild who puts the story of the battle into context.
GUEST: Joe Sacco is considered one of the most talented comic artists of our time, having entered his art form firmly into the realm of journalistic story telling. His war journalism is exemplified by his books Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and Footnotes in Gaza. You may remember his last book, a collaboration with Chris Hedges called Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. Joe Sacco has been called “the heir to Robert Crumb and Art Speigelman.”