Tuesday, April 23, 2013

#13 Kitsilano Branch

2425 MacDonald Street

Despite having gone to this branch a couple of times (the original photo I had was taken at night and was incredibly terrible, thankfully I got a better one), I don't have much to say about it at all.

In fact about the only thing I really remember about this branch is that it's where I suggested to a friend that they read Joe Sacco's journalistic comic book Footnotes in Gaza.

Footnotes in Gaza was in my opinion the best comic published in 2009 and, despite it winning Sacco the Eisner award for Best Writer/Artist–Nonfiction, I feel it wasn't talked about as much as it maybe should have been. I think this is in no small part due to it being published on December 24th (and thus missing many year end "best of" lists because people didn't read it until some time in 2010). I think it's a powerful and affecting work, which raises many questions about current society and historical events in Israel and Palestine. I haven't read it in a few years though, so asked my friend to write about it instead.
Published in 2009, Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza pulls readers deep into the conflicted territory of Palestine and even more conflicted territory of its history and relationship with Israel. It’s not an easy read. It’s dense and this stuff is brutal to read about, but Joe Sacco produced an amazing piece of journalism cum comic book. The story moves between the activities of Joe Sacco, the character in his own book, researching and pulling together the broken threads of a half century old series of massacres, and Sacco’s renderings of the 1950’s events around those massacres through the eyes of people he interviewed and who claim to have been there. It works beautifully, as well as being drawn beautifully and densely. Both the place and its people are strong characters in the narrative and are expressed in detailed and powerful images, in detailed and powerful words. It took me weeks to read the whole thing and I honestly kept interspersing it with Yotsuba&! to ease the pain, but it was absolutely worth it. Yeah, it definitely has a Palestinian point of view, but neutrality is always a bluff, so read on anyway.

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