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Journalist Depicts Battle In 24-Foot-Long Cartoon

Detail from Plate 5 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. The basilica of the town of Albert, visible in the top right, is an important staging point behind the front. (Joe Sacco/W. W. Norton & Company)
Detail from Plate 5 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. The basilica of the town of Albert, visible in the top right, is an important staging point behind the front. (Joe Sacco/W. W. Norton & Company)

Joe Sacco is best known as a journalist whose dispatches from places like the Middle East and Bosnia come in the form of cartoons.

In his latest book, “The Great War,” Sacco uses his drawings to depict the first day of one of the worst battles of  World War I: the Battle of the Somme.

Sacco recreates that day from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end in a book that is a 24-foot-long panorama.

NPR’s Lynn Neary reports.

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