LONDON: A graphic novel looking into Gaza that was published in 2003 has rushed back into print after the conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas in October.
The comic, written by Maltese-American journalist Joe Sacco, pioneered what was dubbed “comic journalism” and tells the tales of his own work on the ground in the enclave in 1991.
It even drew praise from renowned Palestinian-American academic Edward Said, who said: “With the exception of one or two novelists and poets, no one has ever rendered this terrible state of affairs better than Joe Sacco.”
Since the outbreak of the conflict, the comic’s publisher said that demand for the novel soared.
Fantagraphics co-founder Gary Groth said: “We blew out of our inventory of several thousand copies quickly and are reprinting now. Retailers and wholesalers began ordering the book in far greater quantities than in the recent past, which indicates that every element down the chain — consumers and retailers — are expressing demand for it.”
Sacco, a cartoonist from Portland, told the UK’s Observer: “Things had seemed very bad when I was visiting in the early 1990s, at the end of the first intifada, but things were very much worse 10 years later.
“That the book itself still has relevance is a sorry testament to the enduring tragedy of the Palestinians — though, in some ways, it’s also a tribute to their fortitude, their unwillingness to give in.
“I would go back, if I could get in. Thankfully, many brave Palestinian journalists are doing exemplary work despite the appalling conditions and the very real danger to themselves and their families. But the main reason I would like to go back to Gaza is to see my friends there. I hope they will make it through this.”