In 1992, under the guidelines recommended by the United States and the European Union, Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence from Serbia and what was left of the Yugoslav republic. In response, the Serbians invaded Bosnia with the intent of eliminating the dominant Muslim and Croat populations through a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Sarajevo, the nation's capital that was home to the Olympics just years before, was surrounded and remained under the siege of Serbian aggression for years to come. While hundreds of thousands of people were systematically killed, the United Nations sat helpless. Genocide raged on European soil for the second time in fifty years.
FAX FROM SARAJEVO is not a history lesson. It's the extraordinary story of Ervin Rustemagic and his family, who are trapped in Sarajevo and struggling to get out. Conveniences we take for granted - buying food, heating our homes, going to the doctor's - become life or death struggles for the Rustemagics. And, amid this chaos, their major link to the outside world is a fax machine, used to dispatch calls for help to friends around the world. One of these friends happens to be Joe Kubert, a legend in the world of American comics, who would later document the Rustemagics' plight including the very faxes themselves. It takes a chapter or two to acclimate to Kubert's classic storytelling style, but FAX FROM SARAJEVO is a stirring portrait of the true face of war, and one of the more moving graphic novels I've had the pleasure to read.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.