BURMA CHRONICLES reviewed by The Chicago Sun Times

Graphic novel roundup

The Chicago Sun Times    |    The Chicago Sun Times Staff    |    November 28, 2008

Cartoonist and animator Guy Delisle has performed an impressive bit of literary sleight of hand by hiding a piece of advocacy journalism inside a humorous travelogue with his latest graphic novel, Burma Chronicles. In it he chronicles the misadventures of a year spent in Burma in the company of his wife, an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, and infant son. Delisle's wry but affectionate style of observational humor provides a unique -- and uniquely affecting -- portrait of the embattled nation and its citizens.

With no ideological biases or political motivations to shape his perceptions, he doesn't have to see the Burmese as victims, the NGO workers as saints or the military junta as inhuman monsters -- just people. He puts everyone's triumphs, tragedies and (especially) foibles on full display. It's journalism the way journalism should be: readable, educational and, hopefully, transformative.

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