Graphic Novelist Joe Sacco Visits Bend Library

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  9/5/2006

Deschutes Public Library is pleased to welcome award winning graphic novelist Joe Sacco to the Bend Public Library for reading in the Brooks Room on Saturday, September 16 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public and sponsored in part by Amnesty International 610 and the Central Oregon Peace Network.

Joe Sacco was born in Malta in 1960. He moved with his family to Australia when he was one and lived there until 1972 when they relocated to Los Angeles. He received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon in 1981. Struggling to find meaningful work in his field, Sacco made the decision to turn his hobby of cartooning into a way of making a living. From 1988 to 1992, Sacco traveled around the world, drawing inspiration from his experiences. In late 1991 and early 1992, he spent two months in Israel and the occupied territories, traveling and taking notes. When he began writing what was to become the first issue of Palestine, it was with the goal of communicating what he had witnessed and heard during his stay. According his biography, “he used techniques of eyewitness reporting with the medium of comics storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighted situation.”

Since the release of Palestine, Sacco has earned widespread praise for the depth of his research, the sensitivity of his handling of sensitive subjects, as well as for his deft skill with layouts and bold narratives. Palestine raised the bar for the use of the comic book as a documentary medium. Sacco received the American Book Award in 1996 for Palestine.

In 1998, Sacco was commissioned by Details magazine to cover the Bosnian War Crime Trials in the Hague, Netherlands. The stories collected in War’s End. Safe Area Gorazde received major coverage from Time, The New York Times, NPR and the Los Angeles Times Book Review and won the Eisner Award for Best Original Graphic Novel in 2001. He currently resides in Portland and is working on a new piece about life in the southern Gaza Strip.

During his presentation at the library, Sacco will chronicle his world travels, and discuss the process of creating a graphic novel. The Book Barn will be on hand to sell copies of Sacco’s books. For information about this or other library programs, please call 312-1032.

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