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About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2013
  • ISBN: 9780224097710
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 56
  • RRP: $49.99

The Great War

The First Day of the Battle of the Somme (An Illustrated Panorama)


Formats & editions


From ‘the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman’ (The Economist) comes a monumental, wordless panorama capturing the horror of World War I.

AN ILLUSTRATED PANORAMA WITH AN ESSAY BY ADAM HOCHSCHILD

The first day of the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomise the Great War. This monumental panorama captures the unimaginable horrors of that fateful day.
On 1st July 1916, almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded during the first day of The Somme. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoonist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot-long wordless panorama: from 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 makes visceral one of the bloodiest days in history.

‘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
‘Sacco’s work [is] the best argument around for comics as a journalistic medium’ GQ

  • Pub date: 1 October 2013
  • ISBN: 9780224097710
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 56
  • RRP: $49.99

About the Author

Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco, one of the world's greatest cartoonists, is widely hailed as the creator of war reportage comics. He is the author of, among other books, Palestine, which received the American Book Award, and Safe Area: Goražde, which won the Eisner Award and was named a New York Times notable book and Time magazine's best comic book of 2000. His books have been translated into fourteen languages and his comics reporting has appeared in Details, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Harper's and the Guardian. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Also by Joe Sacco

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Praise for The Great War

“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

“A landmark work which makes visceral one of the bloodiest days in history.”

Labour Research

“The art is such that you will pore over the book, cross referencing with the annotations, almost hearing the tick tick tick of the seconds that separated each wave of men from their terrible deaths. It's a powerful 'read' (despite being entirely wordless), and interesting both as a work in its own right but also as a placeholder within Sacco's career.”

Bookmunch

“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

“The "comic book journalist" has gone into a new realm with this, a book that folds out into a single piece, 24ft wide, wordless pen and ink drawing of soldiers leaving the trenches”

Shane Hegarty, Irish Times

“The First World War is often described as a literary war, but it was also the first great photographic war. This book is an extraordinary collection of photographs from the archives of the Imperial War Museums. Depicted are the machines of destruction, the battlefields, the trenches, the beaches but above all the soldiers. Nothing reveals the face of war quite so vividly as the faces of the warriors.”

Ben Macintyre, The Times

“A mini-masterpiece.”

Independent on Sunday

“The First World War is often described as a literary war, but it was also the first great photographic war. This book is an extraordinary collection of photographs from the archives of the Imperial War Museums. Depicted are the machines of destruction, the battlefields, the trenches, the beaches but above all the soldiers. Nothing reveals the face of war quite so vividly as the faces of the warriors.”

Ben Macintyre, The Times

“A mini-masterpiece.”

Independent on Sunday

“His silence first mirrors and then amplifies our own horrified stupefaction – and his inky crosshatching speaks for itself, sorrow and rage in every dogged line.”

Rachel Cooke, Observer

“Unlike anything you've ever seen before...renders the destruction on an epic scale but each of the thousands of soldiers is depicted with humanity and detail.”

Metro

“Unfolds in breathtaking detail… Haunting and beautifully rendered.”

Sunday Times

“One of the finest pictographic achievements in recent years… A vivid portrait of courage and honour which will astound you.”

Haverhill Echo

“[Sacco’s] ability to cram in detail is extraordinary. And it is the details that linger.”

The Economist

“[Sacco’s] ability to cram in detail is extraordinary. And it is the details that linger.”

The Economist

“When stretched to its 24ft length in the Saga Magazine office, we pored over it for ages. We predict you will want to do the same.”

Saga Magazine

“The detail in this work is phenomenal, capturing the aloof generals, death in the trenches, and the wounded... [Sacco] makes visceral one of the bloodiest days in history.”

Socialist Review

“Wordless and brilliant.”

Donal O'Donoghue, RTE Guide

“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

“Sometimes words and photographs are not enough… [An] astounding book.”

Michael Hodges, Mail on Sunday

“A unique and unforgettable experience.”

Matthew Turner, Ask Men

“A meticulous visual depiction.”

Observer


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