After developing his acclaimed style of firsthand reporting with his bestselling graphic novels Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
and Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China
, Guy Delisle is back with The Burma Chronicles
. In this country notorious for its use of concealment and isolation as social control—where scissors-wielding censors monitor the papers, the de facto leader of the opposition has been under decade-long house arrest, insurgent-controlled regions are effectively cut off from the world, and rumor is the most reliable source of current information—he turns his gaze to the everyday for a sense of the big picture.
Delisle’s deft and recognizable renderings take note of almsgiving rituals, daylong power outages, and rampant heroin use in outlying regions, in this place where catastrophic mismanagement and ironhanded rule come up against profound resilience of spirit, expatriate life ambles along, and nongovernmental organizations struggle with the risk of co-option by the military junta. The Burma Chronicles
is drawn with a minimal line, and interspersed with wordless vignettes and moments of Delisle’s distinctive slapstick humor.