Guy Delisle's work for a French animation studio requires him to oversee production at various Asian studios on the grim frontiers of free trade. His employer puts him up for months at a time in 'cold and soulless' hotel rooms where he suffers the usual deprivations of a man very far from home. After Pyongyang, his book about the strange society that is North Korea, Delisle turned his attention to Shenzhen, the cold, urban city in Southern China that is sealed off with electric fences and armed guards from the rest of the country. The result is another brilliant graphic novel - funny, scary, utterly original and illuminating.
Like last year's Pyongyang, about his similar stint in North Korea, Shenzhen is a casual, dryly witty series of observations... Delisle's got an animator's eye for quirks of motion, analyzing the arc of a public fountain's water and the way street vendors make popcorn in a pressure cooker. The best artwork in the book is his impressionistic, unnarrated pen-and-ink-wash drawings of Shenzhen's drab buildings and billboards, but Delisle's keen awareness of how and why he can't connect to the city makes for a rarity: a thoroughly engaging memoir of being bored to distraction. -- Douglas Wolk, New York Times Book Review Published On: 2006-12-03.
About the Author
Guy Delisle was born in Quebec City, Canada. His bestselling and acclaimed travelogues (Pyongyang, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Burma Chronicles, and Shenzhen) are defining works of graphic nonfiction, and in 2012, Delisle was awarded the top prize in European cartooning when the French edition of Jerusalem was named Best Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. He lives in France with his wife and children.