Wednesday, October 07, 2009



Macedonia: What does it take to stop a war?
Written by Harvey Pekar and Heather Roberson
Illustrated by Ed Piskor

Fuck, this book is dense. Crazy dense! It's mostly 12 panel pages filllled with text. And sometimes they can't even fit enough text into those, so they put in even more text. I'm not saying it's not good, but I guess I had just forgotten how many words Pekar crams into his comics.

And despite the co-writer, this really does seem like a Pekar comic. Because it is filled with words! And impossible to read in one sitting! I like American Splendor, but I think I've read enough for my life.

However, I clearly haven't read enough non-fiction comics about the former Yugoslavia (I mean, I haven't even read all of Joe Sacco's comics on the area!), and this one definitely delivers on giving you piles and piles of information about a country you more than likely know nothing about.

I find these comics kind of depressing, as I feel as though I am doing nothing to help the world. It's even worse when I consider that I've been in Eastern Europe and SE Asia, which are other places that deal with the corruption and racism that are some of the focal points of what is going on in the Balkans. Why am I sitting on my friend's bed writing about a comic? Why aren't I doing something to really benefit people? Fuck, I am so old (26!) and I don't feel I've really accomplished anything yet (more than many people, but what positive things have I really done?). Refusing to take part in society makes it incredibly hard to change it. And I am frequently left wondering what I can actually do to help the world.

Um, so freak out over.

I'm really curious as to how this comic was weird. Roberson went to Macedonia for her undergrad (!!!) thesis (making me feel like I accomplished nothing doing mine), and the comic shows her taking lots of notes, and recording interviews and her own opinions on things. Presumably she then gave these notes (and thesis) to Pekar, who turned it into a comic script and gave it to Piskor to draw. Did this happen? I really don't know. The book doesn't say, and I'm clearly too lazy to look up interviews. The book also lacks bios for anyone other than Pekar, which just seems weird.

It's good, read it if you want to know about Macedonia.


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