a 24-foot drawing of “The Great War”

La-155583-ca-0119-sacco-002-lob-jpg-20131030David L. Ulin at The LA Times:

“I didn't want this to be about bravery,” he insists, “but about carnage and its aftereffects. There was such enthusiasm on both sides. This was where you had to be if you were a young man of a certain age. But where does it lead? Even when I was drawing, I wanted to think about these things. I always knew that the battle would be at the center, but I also wanted to illustrate the trenches, and how they kept feeding, always feeding, the beast.”

This is the difference between history and journalism, which we might define as the difference between the big picture and the small. When it comes to journalism, in other words, it is important to see the faces of the soldiers, whereas history involves too many faces to see them all.

“As someone who has done a lot of work with conflict,” Sacco says, “I begin to wonder about the species. Not just the British and the Germans; I'm thinking about humanity and our enthusiasm for war. A journalist goes to the next conflict, but in the end, to me, you see the same thing. It's cooperative, but what is it that we cooperate on? What do we put our shoulder to? It never goes away, this great human endeavor that is war.”

more here.