Press Release: Stunning illustration of the Battle of the Somme at the Family Library

RembranceAn astonishing piece of work depicting one of the most notorious battles from the First World War is on display at the Family Library for the next two weeks.

A graphic novel by Joe Sacco, entitled The Great War, folds out into a 24-page depiction of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The full artwork is on display at the library until November 15.

Librarian in charge Mary Cousins said: ‘It is an amazing work. Deeply moving – honest but not gruesome.’

Sacco himself said of the soldiers who fought in the notorious battle: ‘They really went into the jaws of death.’

The first day of the battle, July 1, 1916, saw 60,000 British casualties, with 20,000 killed.

Joe Sacco has earned critical acclaim for his unique approach as a graphic-journalist and has covered modern war, including the Bosnian conflict.

The Great War opens out to create a 24-feet long image which shows every experience soldiers went through on that first day of the Battle of the Somme, without depicting anything too graphic.

It has been praised by critics.

The Guardian described it as a ‘breathtaking achievement… its beauty and power lying in its attention to detail’.

The New York Times commented: ‘Sacco’s illustration — exacting in every damning detail, magnificent in its tragic way — is both indictment and tribute enough.’

You can learn more about Joe Sacco and watch videos of him discussing his work at the Family Library’s website

The Family Library is next to the children’s playground in Westmoreland Road, Douglas.

Related articles:

Search is on to find new backer for Family Library and Mobile Family Library

Mobile Family Library service does much more than deliver books

Longer opening hours at the Family Library

Back to Paul Speller Media news page.


About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
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