Gorazde was the safe haven for Bosnians against the Serbs who were advancing and killing them in large numbers. The war was caused by the declaration independence from Yugoslavia by Slovenia and Croatia, a situation created by the newly elected Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, who incited the Serbs with chauvinism who do not want the disintegration of their country. Hence, Joe Sacco uses comic to convey tacitly serious political and social issues that took place during the war in Bosnia.
Sacco uses black and white comic illustrations to narrate his experiences in Gorazde using simple first hand narration by those he encounters there including the locals and the things that he sees on the media. Perhaps his most important character is Edin, a young man who was fifteen minutes away from his last exam in the University of Sarajevo, where he was studying civil engineering. Edin takes a huge portion of the individual narration in the comic book, and he is the one who introduces Joe to many of the locals he knows, the police, the places to relax after a long day, the important people in a safe area. He is the most important link between Joe and the Bosniak community living in the UN declared safe area.
Joe uses flashback techniques to show how life was for Edin and his Serbian and Croatian friends. The confusion that came about with the new spark of war is illustrated by Edin’s confusion as he runs about in the town when the war broke out. The disintegration of the Yugoslavia country resulted from incitement of the Serbian population by the Serbian president against the Bosniaks. When the Bosnians sensed danger, they decide to break away from Yugoslavia. Since the Serbs did not support the disintegrations, they started to attack the Bosnians who were much smaller in population. The Serbs were well prepared for war