Monday, April 21, 2008

The Fixer: A Story From Sarajevo by Joe Sacco

2 of 6 for the graphic novel challenge

I guess when you read the subtitle "A Story From Sarajevo" you should know that this not a pretty story. It's the story of Neven, whom the author meets in Sarajevo. Neven is a man who is willing to sell his war stories to the press and get them the "inside" story - he's a crass, chain smoking veteran of an incredibly complicated war. The way the story is told, I never completely believed anything Neven said - which probably exactly the point. Journalists are constantly having to decide whether what they are being told is true or not. It was challenging, though, that we kept switching time periods, my brain couldn't keep the action straight very well.

It's a gruesome work of art - an illustrated history of a bloody conflict that is full of unfamiliar names and organizations. While the graphics were often a bit too...graphic for me, I appreciated the point of view - following the story as it's told to the journalist, walking in the shoes of the people he meets in a city that has been torn apart by hatred and violence. It definitely makes for a more hands-on modern historical experience - sort of like the scenes in a movie that are so horrible you can't look away.

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