Joe Sacco and the Great War

Gerard Toal on Joe Sacco

Critical Geopolitics

IMG_1639I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Sacco last night at Politics and Prose where he presented his latest work, The Great War. July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. An Illustrated Panorama. First conceived over 15 years ago and drawn on 12 large sheets over eight months, the work is an accordion-style book that opens up as one single black and white sketched panorama of  a portion of the front line from the morning to the evening of July 1. It proceeds from an image of the British Commander General Haig taking his regular morning walk and then heading off in horse procession all the way into the heat of battle in ‘no man’s land’ and back again later in the day through the lines struggling with casualties, ending up with men in the grave. It is thus not a synchronic panoramic shot of the…

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