Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#ComicsWednesday: Pyongyang by Guy Delisle

Guy Delisle is a French-Canadian cartoonist who has made a career creating biographical comics, building on the strong foundation of his first book, Pyongyang. First published more than 10 years ago, Pyongyang gives readers an interesting glimpse into the secretive and highly controlled world of North Korea. Many things have changed in the past decade, but Delisle's often funny observations of life as a western outsider in North Korea are still fascinating today.

Delisle first came to Pyongyang, the country's capital, to supervise the production of an animated film that had been outsourced to a North Korean company. His job lasted for two months and when he was not working he socialized with other foreigners and went on highly supervised visits to local tourist attractions.

Delisle's black and white drawings are minimalist and cartoony, which suits the immediacy of a travel guide created by an animator. This isn't a sketchbook, though, and you can see the thought he puts into his panels. The people are distinct and expressive, and the often empty backgrounds draw your focus to his characters' humanity and the intense pressure of life under a totalitarian regime.

~Sarah, Adult Services

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