Derek Gregory on Joe Sacco’s stunning new title, a 24ft illustration entitled ‘The Great War: July 1, 1916’.
The comparisons to Hergé are apt in this context, seeing as Hergé himself didn’t travel in the first instance to most of the places he depicted in his graphic novels. Only later did he see reason to, and thus only later did he realize the errors of his career to that point. The National Geographic providing the inspiration for most of Tintin’s (mis)adventures. On this occasion Sacco hasn’t either – that might’ve require some difficult time-travelling in order to capture first-hand the brutal reality of war. Nonetheless, with the aid of the Imperial War Museum’s archives, Sacco has rendered the first day of the Battle of the Somme as barbaric, messy and as shocking as it truly was.
I’ve been in Grant Writing Hell for most of last week and right through this long week-end. Everything has to be in by tomorrow morning, and I’ll post the final version of what has become Medical-military machines and casualties of war 1914-2014 once it’s done and I am in recovery (for an early preview see here). If only I could track down whoever persuaded the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (and the rest of the world for that matter) that drop-down menus achieve consistency and save time… They don’t; apart from the time taken to scroll through endless lists the pre-selected categories never seem to quite fit so you have to click “Other” AND THEN TYPE IT IN ANYWAY.
But I must stick my head above the parapet to notice Joe Sacco‘s forthcoming book The Great War, July 1, 1916, due out at the end of this…
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