Booklist| Illustrating the “Great War,” 24 feet long

Joe Sacco grew up in Australia where tales of victory and disaster in WWI were part of the cultural milieu–and so the few steps from artist to historical recreator don’t seem to be too much of a stretch. He makes a great effort to illustrate the horrors of war that were the first chapter amidst failed global efforts to prevent conflict on a massive scale.

Via Solemn Panorama of Battle, NYT

Source: Q&A with Joe Sacco, author of “The Great War” Posted on November 5, 2013 | By (John McMurtrie)

4 thoughts on “Booklist| Illustrating the “Great War,” 24 feet long”

  1. I think that most of us are still trying to understand how WWI ever happened the way it did, decimating country populations. It was certainly ridiculous the percentage of a population that different countries lost. I am always skeptical of statistics what statistics say but Germany, Austria, France and Great Britain all lost between 2% and 3% of their populations. If you think about that happening today in the United States that would be about 9 million deaths, so it would be very likely that you knew someone that died in the conflict. It just blows my mind how soldiers would throw themselves into ‘no man’s land’ and get slaughtered by enemy machine guns. It is important that we all remember what happened in order to get a sense of the extremes that humanity can reach.

  2. Studying the battles of WWI is really interesting and horrifying for me. These men chose to honor their country and fight in the trenches. I cannot even imagine the horrifying fear that these young men must have felt as they would run across “no man’s land” and try to avoid getting shot. Also, there was still chemical weapons being used legally. WWI was the shifting point into modern warfare, and it must have been terrifying to be exposed to and face these new, and more dangerous, weapons. The number of casualties is mind-blowing. I do not think that many Americans today can even comprehend this. Most of our exposure and knowledge of the terrifying truths of WWI come from watching Downton Abbey. However, like the above comment stated, the percentage of casualties during the war would be like the US losing 9 million people-not to mention the economic toll that the war had on the world. I love learning about warfare because it really teaches us all a lesson about human behavior and the atrocities that come from war.

  3. I recently read the book “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque. This novel left a deep impression with me about the horrors WWI and war in general. One quote really stood out to me. “How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is.” It’s mind-boggling that Europe, the dominant and “enlightened” region of the world, could fall to such a level. WWI illustrates the consequences of poor international relations. The formation of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente created a body of alliances so rigid that even the slightest provocation threw both sides into war and utter chaos. It’s depressing that a few prideful politicians’ decisions could result in the death of thousands of innocent young men. It’s so important for us to remember the lessons of the past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

  4. I think it’s really great what this artist did. I really respect that he wanted it to be accurate and spent a lot of time in archives. It’s amazing that he took all of that and made it easier for us to access and this will be a great tool in preserving the history for people in the future who are even further removed.

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