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    Entries in Guy Delisle (2)

    Thursday
    May112017

    HOSTAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH GUY DELISLE at DIGBOSTON

    HOSTAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH GUY DELISLE

     

    In the gripping new graphic novel Hostage (D+Q), award-winning French cartoonist Guy Delisle retells the story of the kidnapping and abduction of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André, who was held hostage in Chechnya in 1997. Over 400-plus black and blue pages, Delisle uses the unique quirks of the comics medium to tell a harrowing tale of hope and survival. The artist is coming to Harvard Book Store on Monday, May 15, and I had an opportunity to ask him about this amazing new project and the incredible amount of work that went into it …

     

    How did Christophe’s story first come your way?

     

    I read his story first in the newspaper, then I had the chance to meet him because I was visiting a friend at the NGO where he was working. I was very curious to ask him questions but I thought he doesn’t want to talk about that. Being kidnapped is certainly a traumatic experience …  

     

    I started to ask him a few questions and he was really open about it. At the end I thought it was so incredible that it would be nice to do a book about that, and he agreed.

     

    It’s amazing he was able to remember every detail and count the days. He was trying to keep his mind so active but also his mind off of his family and his loved ones.

     

    For him every morning it was important that he was keeping track of time, he didn’t know where he was and there was no reason why he was there. The only certain thing was the time, so he was keeping track.

     

    As far as memory goes, I recorded him in 2003 and I worked on the final version of the book in 2015, so I was glad to have the previous recording because his memory was fresh. I also had a document from the NGO right after this happened. I worked with the recordings and that document.

     

    [READ MORE AT DIGBOSTON]


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    Thursday
    Apr262012

    EARTH PRIME TIME: GUY DELISLE - JERUSALEM: CHRONICLES FROM THE HOLY CITY

    Guy Delisle will be at Harvard Book Store tonight at 7pm for a free signing and discussion of his travel journal from Jerusalem entitled, Jerusalem: Chronicles From the Holy City.

    Canadian born cartoonist and animator Guy Delisle lived in the Holy City of Jerusalem for a year with his wife and two young children. His wife worked for Doctors Without Borders as an administrator as Guy settled in to raise his children, find a studio, sketch constantly and teach cartooning when called upon.

    Drawn and Quarterly debuts his hardcover graphic novel this month, and Guy joins us in the States from his permanent home in the South of France to promote his book with a slide show and discussion about his experiences in one of the oldest cities in the world.

    I was immediately intimidated by this assignment. How can I do the work justice when I know absolutely nothing about the politics of the Holy Land? My base understanding is that the place is to be revered as the birthplace of civilization and of Western religion. I’m uneducated on even current events or recent conflicts in the region. I expected to come out of this review feeling dumb.Jerusalem - page by Guy Delisle

     Thankfully, Guy’s book was a travel journal of his life there as someone with knowledge on par with mine. Delisle’s cartooning and illustrations of the intensely complex subsections of the city throughout the book transformed my vague conceptions of the West Bank into realized maps.

    There is the culture built upon conflict. Conflict begets villages, towns and separation. Checkpoints and automatic weapons meld seamlessly with the scenes of vendors selling fruit in the market.

    At least six major religions have a righteous stronghold and ancient holy buildings in the Old City. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4RNcIjW1-k I have the utmost respect for the work that Doctors Without Borders does and learned for the first time how difficult it must be to travel in the region on such a mission. All vehicles are subject to search. Bombings, shootings and violence are daily occurrences.

    I imagined myself in Guy’s shoes adjusting and exploring all the old world had to offer.

    The book illustrates the logistics of living in the city as a foreigner and seeing the place for the first time. He was responsible for getting his kids to school and finding places for play. There is so much honest exploration and learning exposed in this book.

    Guy is a curious explorer, hopping into the Arab minibuses with a backpack to check out the city, draw and ask questions.

    Chapters are broken up by months, and high holiday celebrations of the major religions are highlighted with an observant eye. There is a humorous reveal about the author’s spiritual beliefs that I identified with about halfway through the book. To be a non-believer in the Holy Land you are on the surface neutral, and at the same time without allies in conflict. Guy shows that it is best to keep your atheist or agnostic beliefs to yourself and blend in wherever possible. My original expectations were surpassed by a desire to travel more and carry a sketch book with me more often. The humorous human element of tense political and religious contexts in real situations brought me genuine happiness and joy. The illustrative maps and symbols in the work gave me a better understanding of the Middle Eastern region than all of my education and news input combined.

    Guy Delisle has given us the history of the world told through the eyes of an outsider. He tells the story of how an artist and his family can integrate into a cultural mix thousands of years in the making.

    GUY DELISLE PRESENTS JERUSALEM: CHRONICLES FROM THE HOLY CITY WED 4.25.12 HARVARD BOOK STORE 1256 MASS AVE. CAMBRIDGE (617) 661-1515 7PM/ FREE @HARVARDBOOKS HARVARD.COM EARTH PRIME TIME: GUY DELISLE SIGNING FOR ‘JERUSALEM’ AT HARVARD BOOK STORE by clay-fernald

    [READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

    OK so this review was a preview of Guy’s signing. I went, got some pictures and asked about process. Guy uses photo references, his own sketches and google image search for his drawings. The clerk actually quoted me in his intro!

    Guy Delisle has given us the history of the world told through the eyes of an outsider. He tells the story of how an artist and his family can integrate into a cultural mix thousands of years in the making.

    Personalized Sketch!