Book review of ‘A Child in Palestine: The Cartoons of Naji al-Ali’ in The Palestine Telegraph:
Within Palestine and the Palestine solidarity movement internationally, Naji al-Ali’s presence is equal perhaps to that only of Mahmoud Darwish as a cultural unifier and voice for the voiceless.
So it is shocking to consider that it is not until now, 22 years after al-Ali was assassinated in London (he was shot by unknown assailants on July 22, 1987) and more than 48 years since he was first published by Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani, that the first English-language collection of his cartoons is making its appearance. Despite several online galleries, tracking Hanthala down in print in the West has been quite difficult.
Therefore, we can all thank and praise the editors of Verso Books for their decision to create a slender introduction to al-Ali’s graphic work for the Angolphone world. They have selected 100 cartoons and arranged them roughly by theme in five chapters: Palestine; Human Rights; US Dominance, Oil and Arab Collusion; the Peace Process; and Resistance.
There is a brief introduction to each chapter, and each cartoon is accompanied with a short caption providing translation and explanation. The whole book is furnished with an introduction by cartoonist Joe Sacco, probably al-Ali’s heir as the single person most associated with the crossroads of Palestine and comics.”
A Child in Palestine, with an introduction by cartoonist Joe Sacco, is available from Verso now.
To see more of al-Ali’s images see the website devoted to his work.
Joe Sacco has also contributed a strip to War With No End.