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Category >> Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco at Duke U.: A Special Report
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Joe Sacco 30 Apr 2012 9:46 AM

Attn: Flog Faithful... posting might lessen a bit this week as we continue to navigate the brutal, nine-day convention gauntlet that is Stumptown, MoCCA and TCAF. To ease your cravings, we bring you an exclusive Flog! report from our Tobacco Road Correspondent Rob Clough. -- Ed.

  

Joe Sacco  gave a lecture and Q&A to an audience of about a hundred at Duke University on 4/24/2012. He said that this was probably the last time he was going to give this particular lecture on Comics Journalism. If you haven't seen it, Sacco gives an account of his working method by talking about the ways in which the comics page is an ideal construct for delivering multiple and often conflicting and contrasting forms of information. For example, in a page from Palestine, there's a heavy background emphasis on how rainy the weather was at the time and how uncomfortable that made everything. In each panel, you could see grey clouds following around Sacco and his friend and mud on their feet. Sacco noted that in prose, it's difficult to emphasize the constant nature of physical discomfort without being awkward. He said that you couldn't simply add the phrase "and there was mud on their feet" at the end of every sentence. Sacco repeatedly said how important accuracy is to him, from gettng the quotes right to trying to find out what a building or neighborhood might have looked like fifty years ago. For some aerial views that he didn't have access to (noting wryly that the governments of Egypt and Israel weren't about to grant him permission to fly over the settlements in Gaza), he simply used drafting skills and perspective to figure out what things would look like from above. Sacco also went into some detail about how he composes each page. On pages where there is violence or chaos, he favored a fractured panel arrangement where the reading order was made deliberately unclear for the reader, to reflect the chaos of the situation. On another such page, there was a spider-web of panels, where you could follow one character along one web to see what's happening with them, but the overall page had no set structure in terms of what order to read things in.

He talked about about how he represents himself in his comics, noting that he hides his eyes as a way of telling the reader that you're not getting every bit of info about him as a part of the story. He said that in choosing how he chooses to represent his experiences, he was conscious of how he affected the narrative, and more to the point, how the story affected him. When asked if he ever felt the urge to intervene or help in particular situations, he said that the works themselves were his form of intervention. Sacco told me that he's quite aware of other comics journalists operating, like Suzie Cagle, Dan Archer, Josh Neufeld, etc, though he wasn't necessarily an avid reader of anyone else in particular. I asked him about his feelings regarding the "embedded journalism" he did with the US military; he said that the experience is what you made of it, but that he didn't encounter a lot of grief in finding out things he was interested in. Similarly, he answered no when I asked him if his long-form journalistic works were a repudiation of the 24-hour, brief news cycle. He said that he depends on that news cycle to a certain extent and that it has its place. Instead, he said that he sees his work as a repudiation of shallow journalism.

Unsurprisingly, Sacco was warm and friendly with the long line of attendees who were having their books signed (many of which were provided by Duke's excellent Gothic Bookshop). He said that one reason why his touring is going to slow down is that he's going back into research and drawing mode. He has not one, but two books coming out this June. The first is Journalism, a collection of his short journalism stories that appeared in a variety of venues, and many of the stories were not published in the US. That one will be 208 pages. Also coming out is a book he's doing with Chris Hedges called Days Of Destruction, Days Of Revolt, which is about urban decay and the rise of a permanently doomed underclass in the US. Finally, he said that his current project involves research into Mesopotamia, partly because he had to get away from doing books about modern war zones. He said that he's going to work in aspects of his long-promised Gentleman's Guide To The Rolling Stones in the book.  -- ROB CLOUGH

Joe Sacco at Duke University Tomorrow!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Joe Saccoevents 23 Apr 2012 9:08 AM

Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics offices
photo credit: Jacob Covey

Join Joe Sacco tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24th, for a discussion on "Comics and Journalism" at Duke University in Durham, NC!

He'll be speaking starting at 5:00 PM in Duke's East Campus in the White Lecture Hall, 107. This event is free and open to the public.

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 4/23-4/30
Written by janice headley | Filed under T Edward BakStan SakaiPeter BaggeOlivier Schrauwennicolas mahlerMichael KuppermanKim DeitchJosh SimmonsJoe SaccoJasonHans RickheitGary PanterFredrik StrömbergeventsDrew Friedman 23 Apr 2012 8:38 AM

This is the week all our heads explode:

 Tuesday, April 24th 

Portland, OR:  T Edward Bak will deliver a presentation on WILD MAN: The Strange Journey and Fantastic Account of the Naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, which was serialized in Mome!  He'll be joined by artist Vera Brosgol at the Portland Central Library. (more info)

• Durham, NC: Joe Sacco will discuss "Comics and Journalism" at Duke University! More info about this event coming to the FLOG today!

Angelman by Nicolas Mahler

Thursday, April 26th 

• New York City, NY: Award-winning Austrian cartoonist and animator Nicolas Mahler will be a special guest at the Austrian Cultural Forum. It'll be the worldwide debut of Angelman: Fallen Angel, his first book to be released in English in six years! More info about this event on the FLOG soon!

Drew Friedman My Way at the Scott Eder Gallery

Friday, April 27th  

Brooklyn, NY: The Scott Eder Gallery hosts the opening reception of Drew Friedman: My Way, his very first New York gallery show of comic strip and illustration art! It's also the official re-release party for the hotly-anticipated Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental, Drew's first anthology, co-written by Josh Alan Friedman.   (more info)

Jason, Nicolas Mahler, Olivier Schrauwen at Desert Island This Friday!

Friday, April 27th  

• Brooklyn, NY: Desert Island hosts a pre-MoCCA International soirée (see?) with Jason, Nicolas Mahler, and Olivier Schrauwen, along with Matt Forsythe and Tom Gauld! More info about this event coming to the FLOG soon!

MoCCA Fest 2012 poster

Saturday, April 28th  

• New York City, NY: Ohmygod, it's the 2012 MoCCA Fest at the Lexington Avenue Armory with special guests Bendik Kaltenborn, Drew Friedman, Fredrik Strömberg, Hans Rickheit, Jason, Josh Simmons, Kim Deitch, Michael KuppermanNicolas Mahler, Olivier Schrauwen, and Peter Kielland! More, more MoCCA details are coming to the FLOG today!

• Portland, OR: Holy crap, it's the Stumptown Comics Fest, with special guests Peter Bagge and Stan Sakai! Stay tuned for more details right here on the FLOG!

Stumptown 2012

Sunday, April 29th  

Detroit, MI: It's the closing day of the acclaimed Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light Show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit! (more info)

Utica, NY: It's your last chance to see the exhibit LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute! (more info)

• New York City, NY: It's your last day to swing by the Lexington Avenue Armory for MoCCA to meet special guests Bendik Kaltenborn, Fredrik Strömberg, Hans Rickheit, Jason, Josh Simmons, Kim Deitch, Michael KuppermanNicolas Mahler, Olivier Schrauwen, and Peter Kielland!

• Portland, OR: And it's your last day to hit the Stumptown Comics Fest, with special guests Peter Bagge and Stan Sakai!

Daily OCD: 4/19/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoPat ThomasmangaJoe SaccointerviewsDaniel ClowesDaily OCD 19 Apr 2012 7:27 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Palestine

List: For The Guardian, comics creators Bryan & Mary Talbot select their top 10 graphic memoirs, with Joe Sacco's Palestine at #4: "Sacco was trained as a journalist and singlehandedly created the genre of reportage in graphic novel form. Immersing himself in a situation, his in-depth reports use the medium of comics to its full potential. Like his Safe Area Gorazde or recent Footnotes in Gaza, Palestine follows his experiences as he investigates events and interviews residents, explaining the history, politics and dynamics of the place as he goes along. The palpable sense of place and the feeling that we're in the presence of the people who relate their experiences to him (and therefore to us) is a testament to his storytelling skills, his work being far more intimate than that of a filmed documentary. Sacco is a master of this medium."

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Feature: "Compiling the book was a learning experience for Thomas... 'They (the Panthers) switched from a gun-toting paramilitary organization to a more community-based entity offering free food, clothing, and medical care,' he says. And, perhaps, this may be Listen, Whitey!’s biggest strength — and greatest contribution — to future discourse about this topic that has been so distorted and misrepresented in its presentation to the consciousness of mainstream America. Maybe now, 40 years after the histrionics and exaggeration, enough time has passed so the emergence of Black consciousness can be scrutinized with a measure of clarity." – Gregg Reese, Our Weekly

Mr. Clowes, we present you with the Katzenjammer Medallion for comic excellence!

Interview: At The Atlantic, Steven Heller has a Q&A with Daniel Clowes: "I was trying to get work as an illustrator in the '80s, but no art directors actually ever called, which is what led me to throw up my hands in despair and slink back to comics. Originally, I was hoping to find a writer to collaborate with, since I was much more interested in the drawing part of the equation, but that didn't work out. And so I began writing my own stories."

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Plug: Lee Wind of the wonderfully-named blog I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? spotlights Shimura Takako's Wandering Son Vol. 1

Comics: Philosophy & Practice at the University of Chicago!
Written by janice headley | Filed under SethRobert CrumbJustin GreenJoe SaccoIvan BrunettiGary PantereventsDaniel ClowesChris WareCharles BurnsCarol TylerAline Kominsky-Crumb 13 Apr 2012 11:49 AM

Hey Chicago! Stop whatever you're doing (yes, that means reading the FLOG) and go register for this NOW! Space is limited, and you do NOT want to miss out.

It's the Comics: Philosophy & Practice conference at the University of Chicago, held May 18th-20th.  And the line-up will make any comics-fan's head spin: it features Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Gary Panter, Joe Sacco, Carol Tyler, and Chris Ware, as well as Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel, Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green, Ben Katchor, Françoise Mouly, Seth, and Art Spiegelman... WOW.

Oh, and did I mention it's FREE? Why are you still reading this?! Registration opens TODAY (Friday, April 13th), but space is limited, so don't delay!

Daily OCD: 4/4/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPeanutsPat ThomasLove and RocketsKrazy KatJoe SaccoJim WoodringJasonJaime HernandezinterviewsGeorge HerrimanErnie BushmillerDaily OCDCharles M Schulz 5 Apr 2012 3:18 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions — now up to date!

Esperanza

Review: "The Locas grow up. Collecting material from Love and Rockets‘ second volume (previously found in Ghost of Hoppers and The Education of Hopey Glass), the latest in Fantagraphics’ perfectly executed series of L&R digests [Esperanza] finds Maggie, Hopey, Izzy, and Ray D. coming to terms with no longer being the life of the party and the heart of their scene — at least not without exhausting effort.... But if there’s one thing Jaime’s Locas stories in general, and this volume in particular, tell us, it’s that sometimes you have to be a grown-up for a long time before you grow up. It’s worth the work, and the wait." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal

Palestine

Review: "In the pages of Palestine, Sacco relates his experiences in the first person, with breathtaking honesty and haunting detail. With a narrative style that’s a little bit stream of consciousness, and a lot of oral tradition, he depicts not only his own experiences, but those of the many Palestinians he meets in his travels.... A comic book, no matter how poignant and groundbreaking, is not going to resolve a decades old stalemate. What Palestine does do is shed some light on a near forgotten people, lost behind the name of a broken nation." – Mike Re, Asbury Park Press

Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945

Review: "Where have you gone Ernie Bushmiller, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you. All kidding aside, you sure as shootin' can bet Nancy is happy, and so am I that the crucial years of this strip (or at least the dailies) are FINALLY being reprinted, and in chronological order to boot, by the fine folk at Fantagraphics. ...Nancy continues to deliver on the fun puns 'n great art for us real-life comic strip fans while all of that extraneous junk that's been hitting the comic pages o'er the past few decades does little but mirror the rest of the contents of yer modern day newspaper industry that deserves to die a quick and inglorious death! ...[A] project like this is but one that really brings out that never-suppressed slobbo suburban kid feeling in me, and with more books to look forward to all I can say is...what the hell do we need Gary Trudeau for anyway?" – Chris Stigliano, Blog to Comm (via The Comics Journal)

Reviews: Would you like to know what Jason thinks of Nancy Is Happy and the Krazy & Ignatz books? You may find out on his Cats Without Dogs blog

Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

Plug: "Panther power has a way of roaring back to life when you least expect it: Years ago, Mushroom drummer and music archivist Pat Thomas told me he was working on an epic multimedia compilation on the Black Panthers. Now, hot on the heels of The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, comes Thomas' equally inspired lyrical documents of the Oakland-bred group: a hefty Fantagraphics tome, Listen, Whitey!... and a CD of spoken word, music and comedy." – Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Chronicle

Feature: The April issue of Clash magazine includes a feature on Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 in which they call the book a "fascinating, insightful and sometimes shocking tome"; you can read en excerpt (which includes a portion of an excerpt from the book) on their website

Jim Woodring

Interview (Audio): Jim Woodring and our own Larry Reid were guests on Weekday with host Steve Scher on KUOW (Seattle's NPR news station) last Friday, March 30, to preview the Northwest comix panel at Emerald City Comicon; you can stream or download the show here

The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970

Commentary: McSweeney's has a terrific essay about Snoopy by guest columnist Robb Fritz that's a must-read for all Peanuts fans

Daily OCD: 3/5/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairePeter BaggeJoost SwarteJoe SaccoJoe DalyJim WoodringJasoninterviewsGilbert HernandezFantagraphics BookstoreDave CooperDaily OCDBlake BellBill EverettBest of 2011 6 Mar 2012 2:13 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Athos in America

Review: "Any new work from Norwegian cartoonist Jason is worthy of a comics fan’s full attention, but the new, all-original short-story collection Athos in America is one of the best books of Jason’s career, which automatically makes it one of the best books of this year." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Is That All There Is?

Review: "...Joost Swarte... brought a nose-thumbing avant-garde sensibility to 'ligne claire' style Eurocomics in the ’70s and ’80s, even before he landed stories in the seminal art-comics anthology Raw. Is That All There Is? collects nearly 150 pages of Swarte’s most groundbreaking work... With his architectural sense of design and his punk-rock attitude, Swarte fused craft and nihilistic flippancy in stories about adventurers, harlots, musicians, and scientists, creating true 'modern art.'" – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1

Review: "About all that was missing from Blake Bell’s 2010 Bill Everett biography Fire & Water was extended samples of Everett’s artist’s actual comics. Bell now remedies that by serving as editor on Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 1... These publications rode the superhero wave initiated by the companies that would later become DC and Marvel, and while they didn’t withstand the test of time, they’re still a kick to read, buoyed by their no-nonsense action plots and by Everett’s propensity for drawing narrow figures poised to commit acts of violence." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book

Review: At The Unshelved Book Club, Gene Ambaum looks at Joe Daly's The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book in that site's unique format

Yeah!

Review: "This collection is the ultimate love letter to all those 1960s kid comic books, but with a modern twist.... Each person is a well-defined character with strong flaws and backgrounds. With so much diversity, there is bound to be at least one character you will like.... If you are looking for a kid-friendly book with some charm, go ahead and pick [Yeah!] up." – Kevin Brown, City Book Review

Tony Millionaire 1

Profile: he Los Angeles Times (via a few of their suburban affiliates like the Glendale News Press) visits Tony Millionaire in his garage studio: "In his introduction to 500 Portraits, Millionaire writes that life experience has taught him that 85% of all people are 'bogus' or worse. In the garage, he describes himself as misanthropic, but admits his drawings often suggest otherwise. 'As it turns out, you can tell by looking at these portraits, I obviously love people — even the [jerks]. Hitler's done very lovingly,' he says. 'I think it's nice to have the juxtaposition of my disgust for humanity mixed with my obvious love for humanity. You can't draw like that if you really hate something.'"

Dave Cooper

Profile: The Ottawa Citizen's Bruce Deachman catches up with Dave Cooper: "'There are different facets of my creative mind,' he says. 'I feel I need a lot of contrast, so I have all these things happening, but they’re all necessary to make me feel satisfied. It’s got to be this big pot happening, with everything boiling at once. It’s therapy for me,' he adds. 'I don’t see ever wanting to retire from the thing that I love to death.'" There's a short video, too, which Dave has posted on his blog

Congress of the Animals

Plug: Robot 6's Brigid Alverson is partway through Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals: "Woodring’s art has a real solidity to it and like the best surrealists, he creates unreal shapes and figures that seem real—he has figured out how to make new bodily orifices that mimic the old and yet are totally different. Like visions in a dream, they are convincing and false at the same time."

Plug: CHS Capitol Hill Seattle has a great feature on and chat with Cathy Hillenbrand and our upcoming retrospective celebration of her publishing venture Real Comet Press

Isle of 100,000 GravesSafe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

List: Bill Jones of Pads & Panels names his Best Comic Books of 2011 including Isle of 100,000 Graves...

"Jason teams up with Fabien Vehlmann to craft a dark comedy about someone following a mysterious map in a bottle to and island where something strange is happening. The premise itself is a spoiler, as it’s a laugh-out-loud moment when the reader finds out what is going on. Jason’s work is as stellar as ever, just with a lot more dialogue this time around."

...and Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition:

"Safe Area Goražde wasn’t a new book in 2011, but the special edition it got last year was enough to earn it a spot on this list. Joe Sacco reigns as the preeminent comics journalist, and Safe Area Goražde is another great reason why."

Video: Joe Sacco's Portland library presentation
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoJoe Saccoevents 28 Feb 2012 1:35 AM

Writers Talking: Joe Sacco on Feb. 18, 2012 from Multnomah County Library on Vimeo.

If you weren't one of the lucky Portlanders who was able to attend Joe Sacco's talk at the Multnomah County Library main branch on Feb. 18 (or if you were and you would like to relive it), the library has now posted video of the entire presentation and Q&A session online (hat tip: Forbidden Planet International). 

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 2/13-2/19
Written by janice headley | Filed under Steven WeissmanRenee FrenchJoe SaccoeventsAndrice Arp 13 Feb 2012 12:33 PM

Year of the Dragon at Giant Robot

Wednesday, February 15th

Los Angeles, CA: It's your last chance to see the Year of the Dragon group art exhibit at Giant Robot, featuring work from Fantagraphics artists Andrice Arp, Renee French, and Steven Weissman, among many others!  (more info)

Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics office, 04/09/07
Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics office, 04/09/07 // photo credit: Jacob Covey

Saturday, February 18th

Portland, OR: Come hear Joe Sacco speak at the Portland Central Library from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Tickets for this event are free, and will be available 30 minutes prior to the program. Space at programs is limited, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. (more info)

Joe Sacco at the Portland Central Library!
Written by janice headley | Filed under Joe Saccoevents 6 Feb 2012 4:55 PM

Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics office, 04/09/07
Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics office, 04/09/07 // photo credit: Jacob Covey

We're excited to announce a rare hometown appearance by our International Man of Mystery, Joe Sacco!

He will be a guest at the Portland Central Library on Saturday, February 18th, where he will discuss his internationally acclaimed works, like Safe Area Gorazde and Palestine, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

Our friends from Floating World Comics will be on site to sell these titles so you can have them signed by Joe after the discussion!

Tickets for this event are free, and will be available 30 minutes prior to the program. Space at programs is limited, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Portland Central Library is located at 801 S.W. 10th Avenue in lovely downtown Portland, and this event will take place in the U.S. Bank Room. Do not miss it!


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