Guy Delisle is a serious genius. I really really love all the books he has done, and should really get hold of his latest book Jerusalem, out in the last couple of weeks.
Guy is from Quebeic in Canada, starting out as an animator but is now better known for his graphic novels about his travels. His first two full graphic novels were Shenzen and Pyongyang, where Guy goes to work with some animation studios. They are full of the loneliness of travel, cultural differences and lots of funny anecdotes. In his third (and my favourite), he travels to Burma with his baby and wife, who is working as part of Doctors Without Borders.
The best thing about these books are his brilliant observations of life in such different countries, the cultural differences, occassional similarities, and the struggle of trying to do simple daily tasks in a foreign city. There are some slightly sad and poignant moments, but mostly it’s just funny! His drawings are brilliant, simple but with detail just where it’s needed. Anyone who has been travelling in Asia will understand his obsession with air conditioning, his frustration at trying to sleep on over night buses and his general uncertainty about what he’s eating.
The reason I’ve done this post now is because Guy Delisle is in London RIGHT NOW! He is part of the BD & Comics Passion festival, doing a drawing event with the also brilliant Tom Gauld on Friday and a talk about his books on Saturday.
Here are a few pages from Burma Chronicles…