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Joe Sacco’s Journalistic Comics

The cartoonist and journalist on telling history through comics.

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Episode Notes

This week, Isaac Butler talks with journalist and cartoonist Joe Sacco. Sacco is a Maltese-American cartoonist and journalist best known for his comics journalism. His books Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza have been critically praised and have won him several awards, including the American Book Award. His most recent book is Paying the Land.

They talk about how he draws stories out of people and then draws those stories onto the page. Sacco talks in-depth about his creative process, which does not include story-boarding, and about how he gains the trust of his subjects—mostly by learning how to listen.

Afterward, Isaac and co-host Rumaan Alam discuss what they found most striking about the interview and how Sacco’s advice can be applied to their own work.

Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com.

Podcast production by Morgan Flannery.

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