Footnotes in Gaza


Joe Sacco - 2009
    Raw concrete buildings front trash-strewn alleys. The narrow streets are crowded with young children and unemployed men. On the border with Egypt, swaths of Rafah have been bulldozed to rubble. Rafah is today and has always been a notorious flashpoint in this bitterest of conflicts. Buried deep in the archives is one bloody incident in 1956, that left 111 Palestinians dead, shot by Israeli soldiers. Seemingly a footnote to a long history of killing, that day in Rafah—cold-blooded massacre or dreadful mistake—reveals the competing truths that have come to define an intractable war. In a quest to get to the heart of what happened, Joe Sacco immerses himself in daily life of Rafah and the neighboring town of Khan Younis, uncovering Gaza past and present. Spanning fifty years, moving fluidly between one war and the next, alive with the voices of fugitives and schoolchildren, widows and sheikhs, Footnotes in Gaza captures the essence of a tragedy. As in Palestine and Safe Area Goražde, Sacco’s unique visual journalism has rendered a contested landscape in brilliant, meticulous detail. Footnotes in Gaza, his most ambitious work to date, transforms a critical conflict of our age into an intimate and immediate experience.

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less


Sarah Glidden - 2010
    Her experience clashes with her preconceived notions again and again, particularly when she tries to take a non-chaperoned excursion into the West Bank. As she struggles to "understand Israel," Sarah is forced to question first her beliefs, then ultimately her own identity.Sarah Glidden won the prestigious Ignatz Award for "Most Promising New Talent" as well as the Masie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies.

Fax from Sarajevo


Joe Kubert - 1996
    That was the year the war broke out in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the year that genocide revisited the planet. It was the year that Ervin Rustemagic - an international businessman whose clients included author Joe Kubert - found himself and his family trapped in a city under siege. Ervin's only means of communication to the outside world was via his fax machine. As Joe began to receive these messages from Ervin, he did what he had done for years - he put the story to paper. Renowned comics creator Joe Kubert has been writing and illustrating comic books since the 1940s, including Batman, Superman, Tarzan, Enemy Ace, and Sgt. Rock. Fax from Sarajevo is by far one of the highest achievements of one of comics' greatest living masters.

Baddawi


Leila Abdelrazaq - 2015
    Raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in northern Lebanon, Ahmad is just one of the thousands of Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel.In this visually arresting graphic novel, Leila Abdelrazaq explores her father’s childhood in the 1960s and '70s from a boy's eye view as he witnesses the world crumbling around him and attempts to carry on, forging his own path in the midst of terrible uncertainty.

The Complete Maus


Art Spiegelman - 1994
    By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.

Letting It Go


Miriam Katin - 2013
    A Holocaust survivor and mother, Katin's world is turned upside down by the news that her adult son is moving to Berlin, a city she's villainized for the past forty years. As she struggles to accept her son's decision, she visits the city twice, first to see her son and then to attend a museum gala featuring her own artwork. What she witnesses firsthand is a city coming to terms with its traumatic past, much as Katin is herself. Letting It Go is a deft and careful balance: wry, self-deprecating anecdotes counterpoint a serious account of the myriad ways trauma inflects daily existence, both for survivors and for their families.Katin's first book, We Are On Our Own, was a memoir of her childhood, detailing how she and her mother hid in the Hungarian countryside, disguising themselves as a peasant woman and her illegitimate child in order to escape the Nazis. The stunning story, along with Katin's gorgeous pencil work, immediately garnered acclaim in the comics world and beyond. With Letting It Go, Katin's storytelling and artistic skills allow her to explore a voice and perspective like no other found in the medium.

The Photographer


Emmanuel Guibert - 2003
    This graphic novel/photo-journal is a record of one reporter’s arduous and dangerous journey through Afghanistan, accompanying the Doctors Without Borders. Didier Lefevre’s photography, paired with the art of Emmanuel Guibert, tells the powerful story of a mission undertaken by men and women dedicated to mending the wounds of war.

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths


Shigeru Mizuki - 1973
    Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is his first book to be translated into English and is a semiautobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of WorldWar II. The soldiers are told that they must go into battle and die for the honor of their country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive. Mizuki was a soldier himself (he was severely injured and lost an arm) and uses his experiences to convey the devastating consequences and moral depravity of the war.Mizuki's list of accolades and achievements is long and detailed. In Japan, the life of Mizuki and his wife has been made into an extremely popular television drama that airs daily. Mizuki is the recipient of many awards, including the Best AlbumAward for his book NonNonBa (to be published in 2012 by D+Q) and the Heritage Essential Award for Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Special Award, the Kyokujitsu Sho Decoration, the Shiju Hosho Decoration, and the KodanshaManga Award.His hometown of Sakaiminato honored him with Shigeru Mizuki Road—a street decorated with bronze statues of his Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro characters—and the Shigeru Mizuki International Cultural Center.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return


Marjane Satrapi - 2001
    Here is the continuation of her fascinating story. In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging.Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.As funny and poignant as its predecessor, Persepolis 2 is another clear-eyed and searing condemnation of the human cost of fundamentalism. In its depiction of the struggles of growing up--here compounded by Marjane's status as an outsider both abroad and at home--it is raw, honest, and incredibly illuminating.

Terminal Lance: The White Donkey


Maximilian Uriarte - 2016
    Written and Illustrated by Terminal Lance creator, infantry Marine and Iraq veteran Maximilian Uriarte.

Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison


Sarah MirkMaki Naro - 2020
    They were the first of roughly 780 prisoners who would be held there—and 40 inmates still remain. Eighteen years later, very few of them have been ever charged with a crime. In Guantánamo Voices, journalist Sarah Mirk and her team of diverse, talented graphic novel artists tell the stories of ten people whose lives have been shaped and affected by the prison, including former prisoners, lawyers, social workers, and service members. This collection of illustrated interviews explores the history of Guantánamo and the world post-9/11, presenting this complicated partisan issue through a new lens.

Terrorist: Gavrilo Princip, the Assassin Who Ignited World War I


Henrik Rehr - 2014
    I think that I'm good.--Gavrilo Princip, October 23, 1914. This much we know: On June 28, 1914, a young man stood on a street corner in Sarajevo, aimed a pistol into a stalled car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and pulled the trigger. Within a few minutes, the archduke was dead, and Europe would not know peace again for five years. More than 16 million people would die in the fighting that came to be known as World War I. Little else is known about the young man named Gavrilo Princip. How could a poor student from a tiny Serbian village turn the wheel of history and alter the face of a continent for generations? Henrik Rehr's dark and riveting graphic novel fills the gaps in the historical record and imagines in insightful detail the events that led a boy from Obljaj to become one of history's most significant terrorist.-- "Journal"

Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash


Dave McKean - 2016
    Dark Horse proudly presents a new original graphic novel by the legendary artist based on the life of Paul Nash, a surrealist painter during World War 1. The Dreams of Paul Nash deals with real soldier's memoirs, and all the stories will add up to be a moving piece about how war and extreme situations change us, how we deal with that pain, and, in Nash's case, by turning his landscapes into powerful and fantastical psycho-scapes.Praise for one of Dave McKean's previous graphic novels, Cages: "One of the most important works of comic art in the last decade." -The Comics Journal"It is compulsively readable, with a lyrical tone that moves the reader through the rougher, more elusive passages as it strives at the very edge of the form's limitation." -Comic Foundry Magazine"The finest comic being created today. Get it and see what heights narrative graphic art can achieve." -The Fine Print

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home


Nora Krug - 2018
    For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation.

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait


Boaz Yakin - 2009
    Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel. With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin's family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.