Author(s): Joe Sacco
The Great War July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. It is an illustrated panorama with an essay by Adam Hochschild. "Sacco's work [is] the best argument around for comics as a journalistic medium". (GQ). Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted a few months later. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoonist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot-long wordless panorama: from the riding exercises of General Douglas Haig to the massive artillery positions and marshalling areas behind the trench lines, to the legions of British soldiers going 'over the top' and being cut down in No-Man's-Land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse. Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe hardcover slipcase with a 16-page accompanying booklet, The Great War is a landmark work in Sacco's illustrious career, and makes visceral one of the bloodiest days in history.
From 'the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman' (The Economist) comes a monumental, wordless panorama capturing the horror of World War I.
"This is incredible. It is fantastic. He's showing you far more than a film or photographs could. It's just drawing - it's a superb example of what art can do." -- DAVID HOCKNEY Sunday Times "Insanely beautiful... This is yet another total masterpiece from one of the most important comic artists of all time." -- Stuart Hammond Dazed and Confused "A vast panorama of the first day of the battle of the Somme. This is a stark, uncompromising book ... A breath-taking achievement too, its beauty and power lying in its attention to detail, the way it forces the reader to look, and look again ... The kind you need to own, the better that you might return to it again and again." -- Rachel Cooke Observer "Stunning." -- Carl Wilkinson Financial Times "It is a powerful, sustained piece of work, an example of Sacco's journalistic approach." Glasgow Sunday Herald
Joe Sacco's acclaimed books include Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and Footnotes in Gaza. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Adam Hochschild is the author, most recently, of To End All Wars. He lives in Berkeley, California.