The Great War by Joe Sacco
July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme

87%

7 Critic Reviews

...an impressive, large-format, 24-foot-long foldout panorama—a sharply-delineated, dynamic b&w illustration showing the full landscape and timeline of the battle’s first and deadliest day. In dizzying detail, he depicts the anticipation, progress, and horrors of the battle...
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I.

Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting 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 slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.

24 plates
 

About Joe Sacco

See more books from this Author
Joe Sacco's acclaimed books include Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and Footnotes in Gaza, as well as a best-selling collaboration with Chris Hedges, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
 
Published November 4, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 54 pages
Genres: History, War, Comics & Graphic Novels, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Great War
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 30 2013

The work comprises 24 plates, with three on each of the yard-long panels of the accordion foldout, as the faceless soldiers fall to their bloody, anonymous deaths. Unique, devastating, indelible.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Sep 30 2013

...an impressive, large-format, 24-foot-long foldout panorama—a sharply-delineated, dynamic b&w illustration showing the full landscape and timeline of the battle’s first and deadliest day. In dizzying detail, he depicts the anticipation, progress, and horrors of the battle...

Read Full Review of The Great War: July 1, 1916: ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jeff Shesol on Dec 06 2013

Sacco’s illustration — exacting in every damning detail, magnificent in its tragic way — is both indictment and tribute enough.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Sep 07 2013

Doubtless some people will feel that it's impossible, and wrong, to attempt to capture the terror and chaos of the Somme like this. For me, though, The Great War's cartoonishness...has its own uncompromising force. So many incomprehensible decisions...reduced to just 24 plates: there's something awesome about this, and pitiful too.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Horgen on Dec 08 2013

Sacco loves to chronicle intimate, personal war stories...“The Great War” is different. It’s Sacco at his most bombastic and epic, as if his publisher had given him Steven Spielberg’s budget. The result is much more than a traditional comic book; it is an achievement whose impact could only be felt in this paper medium.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Carl Wilkinson on Oct 18 2013

Joe Sacco made his name with comic book-style works of journalism...rendered in intricate detail...creating this stunning work...

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The Economist

Above average
on Jan 04 2014

Mr Sacco eschews anything resembling realistic perspective and proportion. Yet his ability to cram in detail is extraordinary. And it is the details that linger...

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Reader Rating for The Great War
89%

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