BURMA CHRONICLES reviewed by Washington Post Express

Around the World: Graphic Novel Travelogues

Washington Post Express    |    Washington Post Staff    |    December 2, 2008

Veteran cartoonist Guy Delisle created a new graphic novel, "Burma Chronicles" (Drawn & Quarterly), while Enrico Casarosa released his debut comic, "The Venice Chronicles" (AdHouse).

Delisle has made a career out of visiting unfriendly places and creating fascinating graphic novel travelogues about them. His first two, "Shenzhen: A Travelogue From China" and "Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea," offered in-depth views of these Communist countries from the perspective of a long-term visitor.

For his new volume, "Burma Chronicles," Delisle looks at the country of Burma, aka Myanmar, but unlike the first two books, where he was on assignment as an animator, this comic is the first where he's a dedicated graphic novelist, going his wife, who works for Doctors Without Boarders, to the Southeast Asian country.

Delisle, who at this point is an expert on capturing foreign cultures, provides a riveting look at the oppressive country. He goes beyond the normal travel book which focusing on the touristy attractions and captures the people and the daily minutiae that you'd experience only by immersing yourself into Burmese society. He even goes as far as going to a Buddhist meditation retreat, capturing the traditions of a religion that are likely to be foreign to most readers...

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