Joe Sacco
Graphic Novelist
Portland, OR
2006 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Samuel Hoi.
Joe Sacco is a graphic novelist who was trained as a journalist and earned his degree from the University of Oregon in 1981. He travels to conflict zones and then produces books based upon his experiences, his chief topic being the civilian in civil war. He has said that he favors the graphic novel as an expressive medium because of its immediacy and ability to instantly transport readers into a situation. His works combine eyewitness reportage with the particular perspectives of those he encounters on his travels, offering alternative accounts to the stories in mainstream media outlets. In 1991 Sacco traveled to the West Bank, and in 1995 he publishedPalestine, an account of daily life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That year he traveled to Bosnia and producedSafe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-95, a study of a Muslim enclave, which won the Eisner Award for best original graphic novel in 2001. In other books, he has reported on the situations of Chechen refugees and on Iraqis detained by U.S. forces in Iraq. Sacco was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001.

Portrait photo Michael Tierney.

  • Artwork by Joe Sacco
    Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, (p. 47); photo courtesy the artist
Artwork by Joe Sacco