I picked this one up because it was the heftiest hardback graphic novel I have ever seen.
Guy Delisle is a comics artist whose story is his own travels. He apparently is often in places of conflict as his significant other is affiliated with Doctors Without Borders. Delisle sketches and writes about his experiences.
The book I have now is Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, most recently published in 2011.
The drawings are clear and poignant: it’s not difficult to follow what he wants you to notice in the sketches, especially as he adds helpful hints like this:
which to a comics newbie is especially appreciated.
I also like how he visually represents sounds, for example in this scene where his kid is yammering, but it’s background noise to his own thoughts:
He’s a noob to these places, and so he asks the dumb questions so that I don’t have to, such as “What is the Gaza Strip?” and “Why are all these checkpoints here?” and so on.
His commentary and observations are more objective than “lecturey” but he doesn’t apologise for his opinions, either. He offers a nice balance of horrifying current events and humor at himself.
The little tales are just events that he runs into, such as being abandoned on the wrong side of a checkpoint and trying to get home, or dealing with trying to dump the trash.
It’s a graphic novel so I get to regale you with images, ok? So here’s a few more.
This one was especially striking. All of these people have vast, schisms, canyons of differences in their world-view. To Delisle, *ahem* they all look the same. He’s able to portray both the small differences in dress and the styles of the crosses and so forth, but also able to show how they are all so similar to his outsider eye:
Delisle is an atheist so he is often out of the loop when it comes to religious culture in this land of very charges religious sentiments:
Here, he’s pretty scared, evident in the gloom of these panels:
I paid $25 for this 2-pounder, and I recommend that you get one of your own, because I’m not lending you mine. This is published by Drawn and Quarterly. and I most def intend to read Delisles’ other graphic travelogues, Shenzen, Pyongyang, and Burma Chronicles.