Title: Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
Author: Joe Sacco
Publication Year: 2002
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comic Journalism
Source: Library at work
The first experience I had with so-called “comic journalism” was with another of Sacco’s books called Palestine. It was enlightening and funny and easy-to-read, even when discussing a rather difficult subject, and so I hoped that I would find other pieces of work just as good.
Granted, this is by the same author, but it definitely hit all the right spots for me in my second experience of the genre. Sacco focuses mainly on human connections, stories, and characteristics, making the people he describes come right off the page and seem like they’re in the room next to you, in all of their glory (as well as their flaws). He gives just enough background information for you to follow along even if you don’t know all that much about the specifics of the conflict in 1990s Bosnia, but not so much that it overwhelms the story with facts and details. He doesn’t try to portray either “side” as single-handedly taking the moral high ground (nor as being the sole perpetrators of all things negative). He does, however, show the emotions running through the conflict with wit and a little bit of self-deprecation.
This was a quick read for me, and definitely kept my attention. I think it would be a great compliment to other types of reading on the subject, or even really just on its own.