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The Fixer : A Story from Sarajevo by Joe…

The Fixer : A Story from Sarajevo (edition 2003)

by Joe Sacco

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3681346,932 (3.83)1 / 15
When bombs are falling and western journalism is the only game left in town "fixers" are the people who sell war correspondents the human tragedy and moral outrage that makes news editors happy. It's dangerous, a little amoral and a lot desperate. Award-winning comix-journalist Joe Sacco goes behind the scene of war correspondence to reveal the anatomy of the big scoop. He begins by returning us to the dying days of Balkan conflict and introduces us to his own fixer; a man looking to squeeze the last bit of profit from Bosnia before the reconstruction begins. Thanks to a complex relationship with the fixer Joe discovers the crimes of opportunistic warlords and gangsters who run the countryside in times of war. But the west is interested in a different spin on the stories coming out of Bosnia. Almost ten years later, Joe meets up with his fixer and sees how the new Bosnian government has "dealt" with these criminals and Joe ponders who is holding the reins of power these days...… (more)
Title:The Fixer : A Story from Sarajevo
Authors:Joe Sacco
Info:Drawn and Quarterly (2003), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:graphic novel, journalism, bosnia, coffeetable

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The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo by Joe Sacco


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English (11)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Joe Sacco, for those of you who don’t know his work, is a journalist working with the graphic novel as a form. The result is powerful, a combination of the autenhicity of the news story with the immediability of comics. His massive work ”Safe area Gorazde” taught me more about the coflict in former Yugoslavia than anything i’ve ever read.

This is a story on a much smaller scale. It is the last shaky days of the Bosnian war when Sacco arrives in Sarajevo. Most of the international press is long since gone, and when Sacco meets the ”fixer” Neven in a hotel lobby, he is long out of work. A fixer is a local who takes care of foriegn reporters, arranges meetings and interviews, acts as guide, translator and bodyguard. Sacco and Neven strikes up a friendship, of sorts, and this book is a portrait of a complex person, a complex place and a complex time. Through Neven’s stories we learn about the early days of the siege of Sarajevo, when local gangsters were the quickest to take up arms against the invading sebs. Larger than life, blokes like Juka, Caco and Celo and their militias were crucial for the defence of the city, but very soon became a liability as soon as regular Bosnian forces were formed.

Neven is a very unreliable narrator, and the story we get here is subjective, contradictory, and sometimes likely false. Sacco’s portrait of him is vividly painted, as is his own ambivalence towards him. The concept of documentary graphic novel is very appealing, with the sense of place coming across very strongly. Again, this is a book that make me feel wiser. ( )
  GingerbreadMan | Feb 4, 2014 |
Have you ever wondered how journalists get such up close and personal information about foreign affairs? How they get behind enemy lines to get the real scoop? This is the story of Neven, the sketchy Serbian "fixer" who, for a price, can be hired to take war correspondents behind the scenes. Joe Sacco befriends this fixer, Neven. Sacco tells his story in a short graphic "novella," bouncing back and forth between the early 1990s and 2001 to bring to light the Balkan conflict. Neven helps Sacco paint a grim picture of the bloodthirsty warlords who ran the country and how the Bosnia government responded. Even though Neven was a mastermind at manipulating Sacco (and his wallet) they developed a friendship. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 17, 2013 |
I'm overdosing on war stories lately and I'm not sure what it is doing to my mind. I need to read some more Sacco though. This stuff is great. ( )
  librarianbryan | Apr 20, 2012 |
"The Fixer" is a graphic novella by Joe Sacco centered around one of his local informants in Bosnia, whom he relied on during his time there in the 90s. Sacco weaves in and out of the life story of his "fixer" and of the war that occurred in Bosnia in the early 90s; everything is told from his point of view and he humorously caricatures himself as a timid journalist on the sidelines.

The plot structure is deftly handled by Sacco; he manages to skip backwards and forwards in time with ease, and zooms in and out of his subjects gracefully. While I do think he does a great job of paying a tribute to his friend, the fixer, the homage was a bit overwrought for me and my interest waned towards the end of the book. ( )
  jasonli | Jul 11, 2011 |
In today's always-on 24x7 news-cycle world, we've become accustomed to getting the true and gritty details of nearly every major and minor news story that crosses print, monitor or television screen. These are the stories that lead to book deals, prime-time interviews and movie deals. What we don't realize is that behind each of these stories lies a Nevin, a Fixer, the man with the connections and the means to get you access to the true and gritty details that no one else has.

Of course, this is if your fixer can be trusted as far as he can be thrown.

Nevin is Joe Sacco's Fixer who may or may not be an unreliable narrator with tales and access to men who know the various fates of Sarajevo's more infamous warlords. While money is an obvious motivator, Sacco's tale weaves in nostalgia, pride, the ability to confess and even a need to preserve history. So who is to say that the doubters don't have equal reason to cast doubt on the Fixer if they have similar motives? If nothing else, Sacco's deftly tells the story of the already risky proposition behind getting the "true" story that goes much deeper than simply getting that special someone to take you behind the scenes. ( )
1 vote stephmo | May 23, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
In the end this black-and-white graphic novel presents a malleable world of gray where everyone’s goal is survival at any cost. With The Fixer, Joe Sacco reinforces his place as a comics master and journalist, and his work merits examination and celebration.
Because many of its best qualities dwell in the subtleties of Sacco's layered narratives and not in documenting epic-scale conflict, The Fixer is not as instantly powerful as Palestine or Gorazde. Its depth, however, is tremendous.
added by stephmo | editPopMatters, Mike Martens (Feb 5, 2005)
Brilliantly though the power of war to destroy, corrupt and degrade everything it touches is conveyed, the book's unrelieved grimness will be a problem for some.
added by stephmo | editThe Guardian, Michael Faber (Aug 4, 2004)
"The Fixer" continues one of the most creative and unique visions in the arts today. Joe Sacco has single-handedly created a media sub-genre: comix journalism. He brings alive the life and world of a funny, friendly, dangerous, mysterious person who seems a pure product of his place. He's a perfect comicbook character ... but he's real.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Saccoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brolli, DavideTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dohmen, ToonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dries, Sidonie Van denTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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