The postcolonial Joe Sacco

James Hodapp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Joe Saccos almost universally lauded comics frequently reveal issues and people that are overlooked or misrepresented in western media. Whether these are Palestinians, African immigrants in Malta, or Indian villagers, Sacco takes readers on a visual and narrative journey to locations that are disregarded. Given the similarities between Saccos consistent modus operandi of illustrating and voicing the global subaltern and the core principles of postcolonial studies, it is odd that a postcolonial approach to Sacco has not been developed. Whereas comic authors such as Marjane Satrapi and Art Spiegelman have received many such readings, a critical blind spot remains in this regard to Sacco as his works have not been brought into conversation with the fundamental principles of postcolonial studies at length. By examining Saccos comics The Unwanted, Palestine and Kushinagar, the current article redresses this oversight by contextualising Saccos work in relation to postcolonial literary studies. Joe Saccos work troubles readers by confronting them with representations of subjects against which they have constructed institutional barriers, and this article similarly troubles the way we view Saccos texts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • Africa
  • India
  • Joe Sacco
  • Palestine
  • postcolonial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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