tgwThis Saturday will mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Crown Duke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, an event that every school child of a certain age knows was the event that led to the First World War.

The centenary of this event will surely start an arc of remembrance for what was once called “the war to end all wars” and I for one am pleased about this. Not pleased to relive this horrific chapter in our history, but to bring attention to a war that has been long overshadowed by later conflicts. The stories of WWI deserve to be told.

Anyway, the wonderful new “book” – The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme by Joe Sacco – goes a long way by brilliantly bringing one of the Great War’s most epic events to life for a new generation. Mr. Sacco depicts the great battle without writing a word, yet conveys the emotion, the horror, and the futility of war with his stunning artwork.

About The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme by Joe Sacco: “Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going ‘over the top’ and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse. Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.”

Not quite a book, not quite a graphic novel, The Great War is just simply a work of art that tells a story as compelling as any novel or work of history.

The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme by Joe Sacco is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.