Press

December 1, 2015

The Village Voice: "The Outstanding Comics of 2015 Bring It All Back Home"

"No matter what you're accomplishing in your life, you'll realize it's not enough when you read La Lucha (Verso, $17). Artist and writer Jon Sack tells the real-life saga of Mexican human rights lawyer Lucha Castro, who braves death threats and battles extravagantly corrupt officials to call the world's attention to the murders and mayhem endemic to a country ravaged by drug lords on one side of the border and an insatiable appetite for their product to its north. Sack's documentary-style drawings capture vistas of villages emptied of fearful residents and details of grief and determination on the faces of activists and family members, even as the criminals and the federal police who ineffectually pursue them remain anonymous behind black masks."

 

November 13, 2015

Bitch Media: "A Powerful Comic Profiles Women Working for Human Rights in Mexico"

"Front Line Defenders is an international human rights group that has begun using comics to tell the stories of powerful activists. The first comic book in their series about human rights activists focuses on women who are advocating for rights and safety in Mexico. . . "

Read more here.

 

November 11, 2015

Televisa: Marta Lamas discusses the Spanish version of La Lucha, published by Mexico based Editorial Resistencia, on Mexican TV show El Mañanero.

 

October 16th, 2015

The Mirror, UK:  "Misery Stripped Bare" by Ros Wynne Jones

This appeared in the print version of the Mirror, about stories I illustrated for Voluntary Action Islington.  The stories are from residents in Islington, a borough of London, who have been affected by the latest rounds of welfare cuts in the UK.  Read the full report (pdf) with illustrations here. 

 

August 21st, 2015

GQ: "Why comic books are helping us process human rights issues" by Flora Carr

"And while graphic novels like La Lucha are available for individual purchase in bookshops like Waterstones and Amazon, Shapiro is also keen to stress their educational credentials. "We have a few university professors set to use La Lucha in their curricula in the US and UK.. . ." 

Read more here.

 

August 13th, 2015

Ms. Magazine:  "The Lawyer Battling Human Rights Atrocities in Mexico" by Kat Kucera

"Sack offers tales of personal loss, mingled with empathetic portrayals of the activists’ lives behind their fight for justice, to paint a holistic picture of bravery, tragedy and hope. The illustrations are a stylistic clash of realism and noir, giving the narration a serious undertone. . ." 

Read more here.

August 5th, 2015

Upside Down World:  "Mexico: A Lesson in Defiance Amid the Carnage"

"It is difficult to extract anything positive from the carnage that is the recent history of the Mexican border state of Chihuahua and its city Juárez, but “La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico” attempts to do just that. . ." 

Read more here.

 

August 5th, 2015

Guardian:  "Mexico: the graphic tale of Lucha Castro's struggle to defend women's rights" by Jo Tuckman

"Sometimes Lucha Castro finds herself overwhelmed by the horror stories she hears almost every day. The human rights campaigner in the notoriously violent state of Chihuahua, northern Mexico, was struck by that feeling recently, as she listened to an indigenous woman tell of being displaced from her village by organised criminal violence fuelled by corruption and negligence. . . "

Read more here. 

 

June 2nd 2015

writing.ie: "La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights Defenders" by Selina Eagney

"Graphic novels often illustrate the trials and tribulations of fictional superheroes, but the characters of La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights Defenders are starkly real.

Recently launched by Front Line Defenders and published by Verso, La Lucha offers an innovative and compelling depiction of the challenges faced by women human rights defenders (WHRDs), and demonstrates the profound importance of their work. A nonfiction graphic novel written and illustrated by Jon Sack, the book tells the true story of Lucha Castro, a lawyer and human rights defender in Mexico whose work supports families that have been ripped apart by crime and corruption.  .  ."

Read more here.

 

May 29th, 2015

C-SPAN Book TV:  Book Discussion about La Lucha

Lucha Castro talked about her book, La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico, about the violence and human rights violations occurring in Chihuahua and the city of Juarez and her efforts to bring attention to the perpetrators. She was interviewed by Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!”  Watch video here.

 

May 18th, 2015

Warscapes.com: "La Lucha and Human Rights in Mexico" by Michael Busch - Interview with Jon Sack and Adam Shapiro

"Since the 1980s, lawyer and activist Lucha Castro has been one of Mexico’s most prominent human rights defenders. In a country where violence against women has soared to unprecedented heights Castro’s work on behalf of women and communities at risk—along with that of her colleagues—has attracted international attention and acclaim, not to mention threats against her life.  Her organization, Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, offers support and advocacy on behalf of women victims of violence, and has been a leading force in bringing state-sponsored human rights violations to the attention of international monitoring bodies. . . "

Read more here. 

 

May 12th, 2015

Medium.com: "Mexican Everyday Heroes (a graphic novel)"

An average of 6 women are violently killed in Mexico every day. The cities of Chihuahua and Juarez consistently rank among the top 20 most dangerous cities in the world for women — they are just over 200 miles apart from one another on the United States border.

Despite the shocking numbers, Mexican police and military authorities rarely carry out full and transparent investigations into women’s deaths.

In 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that Mexico failed to investigate the murders of eight young women whose bodies were found dumped in a cotton field. Last year, Reuters reported that “so many teenage girls turned up dead in a vacant field on the outskirts of Mexico City that people nicknamed it the ‘women’s dumping ground.’” In March 2015, the body of a Mexican woman running for mayor was found dead in northern Guerrero less than two weeks after launching her campaign. A sheet with a narco-trafficking group’s logo was laid over her body. . .  Read more here. 

 

May 11th, 2015

New City Lit:  "Graphic Novel Review: “La Lucha—The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico” by Natalie Black

All that is best in human nature—resiliency, courage, capacity to love, loyalty and idealism—is demonstrated by Castro and the other activists. Several of them have had family members killed by the Mexican army or drug cartel, and these stories of grief turned to constructive action are particularly moving. Chilling statistics come alive. A sampling of the numbers: 8,000 to 20,000 people reported missing or disappeared from late 2012 to May 2014; 2,764 women murdered in 2012; 85,000 people estimated to have been killed since the 2006 launch of war on drug cartels. . .  Read more here. 

 

May 6th, 2015

Times Literary Supplement:  "Book Review – La Lucha"

By using black and white comic book art – arguably more effective at drawing the reader in than a block of text describing the violence – Jon Sack immerses the reader in his subject; his representation of shootings and torture powerfully conveys that violence is commonplace in Mexico. Employing light and shade to great effect, he presents the killers as shadows – a chilling reminder of how Juárez’s faceless murderers continue to escape justice. . . Read more here. 

 

April 20th, 2015

Mexico News Network:  "La Lucha: Una novela gráfica sobre una defensora de derechos humanos" by Fernanda Duque Hernández

"Lucha Castro, una heroína de la vida diaria.  La organización irlandesa sin fines de lucro, Front Line Defenders, ha lanzado su primera novela gráfica que relata la difícil tarea de uno de muchos defensores de derechos humanos en este mundo. En su primer volumen, el cual se titula La Lucha, relata la historia de una mujer, una heroína de la vida diaria que se ha enfrentado a un sistema de justicia plagado de corrupción: ella es Lucha Castro.  .  . "  Read more here. 

 

April 15th, 2015

Oximity:  "Violence Against Women In Mexico: 5 Things You Need To Know" by Erin Kilbride

"1. Violence against women has increased by over 400 percent since 2008.  An average of 7 women are violently killed every day. In Chihuahua, Mexico, the rates are even higher: 10.1 murders per 100,000 women. That means Guerrero’s murder rate among women is about five times higher than the global average.

2. Crimes are committed with impunity. The government and police not only fail to investigate violence, they perpetrate it. Just a few miles from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's home is a vacant field nicknamed the “women’s dumping ground” because so many female bodies have been found there, dumped in piles of garbage. . . . "

Read more here. 

 

March 30th, 2015

Comics Grinder:  "Review: ‘La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico’" by Henry Chamberlain

“La Lucha” is an exemplary example of the comics medium. A book like this one proves how complex issues can be presented in a clear and concise manner that can benefit people in a myriad of ways. It can jump start conversations that require a number of facts that are not always easy to follow. It can make a difference. It can even save lives. ."

Read more here.