9781896597607 / 1896597602

The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo


Publisher:Drawn and Quarterly



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About the book:

Forget CNN, forget Fox, forget the BBC. If you want the real news, tune in to Joe Sacco. With his earlier graphic novels Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde Sacco practically invented a new field: comic journalism. With The Fixer, he continues to chart new territory. The landscape may look the same--it's the Bosnian conflict documented in Safe Area Gorazde--but Sacco has shifted focus here, zooming in from the big picture of large-scale battles and massacres to settle on the life of one man caught up in the conflict: Neven, the fixer of the title.

In the battleground of Sarajevo, fixers are the men who find journalists the carnage and tragedy they need to feed the public back home. With his past experience as a Bosnian paramilitary solder, Neven turns out to be particularly adept at the job. He feeds Sacco war stories and tales of life behind the lines, which was sometimes more surreal and dangerous than the battles themselves. He's the source that every journalist dreams of finding. Or is he? The more Sacco gets to know Neven and his acquaintances, the more Sacco begins to doubt what he has been told. And here's the crux of the book, for through this relationship of the journalist and his paid source The Fixer questions how much we can trust the news when profit is involved, to say nothing of an audience that demands ever-increasing amounts of sensationalism simply to stay tuned.

The Fixer may be the most political of Sacco's works yet, but it is quietly so. Whereas Safe Area Gorazde shocks and disturbs with its accounts of the Bosnian conflict's atrocities, The Fixer presents a message meant more to be absorbed and contemplated. It's a tale grounded in ambiguity and subtlety, one that marks a transition for Sacco, who in the course of a few books has gone from being a daring and provocative underground journalist to a fully realized artist. --Peter Darbyshire

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