Sunday Comics | Joe Sacco’s ‘The War on Gaza’

Check out recent online comics by Joe Latham, Jordan Bolton, Tonci Zonjic and more.

Here’s a round up of some of the best and most interesting comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

One of cartoonist Joe Sacco’s earliest works was Palestine, a nonfiction graphic novel about the two months he spent in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the early 1990s. During that time, he interviewed hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis about their daily lives and the ongoing plight of the Palestinians.

The current conflict between Israel and Hamas has brought renewed interest in Palestine and Sacco’s work in general, and as a result, his publisher has announced not only a reissue of the original graphic novel, but also a series of webcomics that are currently running on The Comics Journal website.

“The demand for Palestine has skyrocketed following the horrific events of Oct. 7 and Israel’s brutal response, indicating a yearning for understanding from readers all over the world,” said Gary Groth, president and co-founder of Fantagraphics. “We hope that the reissue of Palestine and the new series of graphic commentary ‘The War on Gaza’ will help awaken the world to the plight of the Palestinian people and illuminate the political context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Sadly, as Amira Hass makes clear in her new Afterword, Joe Sacco’s deeply empathetic account of the Gazan people is even more relevant today than at any time since its original publication.”

Fantagraphics issued a statement in January calling for a ceasefire and condemning the massacre of innocent people on both sides of the conflict. Groth also gave more context as to why they decided to launch the webcomic:

We both understood that in this context we inhabit a privileged world of heightened cultural responsibility—he as an artist, me as a publisher—that compelled us to do something, but we also felt a sense of futility and frustration. How should we best exercise this cultural responsibility? On December 26, I wrote Joe, “I decided that I cannot in good conscience watch what’s unfolding in Gaza without public comment.” A few days later, in an email to me, he wrote, “When I think of what can be done, your strength lies mainly in your position as a publisher and what you publish. And mine as a cartoonist and what I draw. I’ve been going back and forth a lot about what, if anything, I can contribute.” The result of this conversation led us to take two courses of action: a statement from the publishers of Fantagraphics, released publicly yesterday and reproduced below, and this column, “The War on Gaza,” a series of graphic commentary and reflections by Joe Sacco that he will draw as often as time permits. It is surely not enough, but it’s what we can contribute.

You can check out the five comic that have been posted so far here.

While on the topic, the political commentary site In These Times recently published an “All Eyes on Gaza” that included comics by Peter Kuper (above), Matt Bors, Tom Tomorrow and Jen Sorensen. You can see all the comics here.

(And while on this topic, if you are interested in reading more graphic novels about Israel, Palestine and the Middle East, The Conversation has a good list of them here.)

Joe Latham is a UK based illustrator/comics creator who has made several beautiful-looking comics you can buy digitally, as well as the upcoming graphic novel Haru. He also did this great comic about not sleeping that he’s shared on social media. It seems like a good comic to share today, given how Daylight Savings Time just kicked in here in the U.S., disrupting sleep schedules, wake-up times and overall moods in general for the population.

According to this write-up on It’s Nice That, Jordan Bolton is a cartoonist who creates “short, poetic stories” and “then combines them with storybook-like drawings, creating moving visual narratives that follow subjects doing seemingly everyday things.” Or, you know, comics. This one in particular I’ve seen pop up on my Tumblr feed a lot lately, and its message from a substitute teacher who taught their students about finding beauty in ordinary objects is a great lesson at any age.

Finally, if you’re a fan of Tonci Zonjic’s work on Lobster Johnson, Marvel Divas, Black Hammer and more, you might want to check out his website, where you can find A + M, a comic about working robots in orbit around the planet doing … well, I’m not sure exactly what they’re doing, but they always seem to be in distress.

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