Two Travelogues by Guy Delisle

There’s a huge difference in style (as well as size) between the Guy Delisle book about Shenzhen and the Guy Delisle book about Jerusalem. In the Shenzhen book, the drawings are darker and fuzzier like pencil or charcoal sketches, whereas the drawings in the Jerusalem book are very clean, with splashes of color added.

I think part of the reason is the separation in time between the books. The Shenzhen book was published in 2006 about a trip in 1997, and the Jerusalem book was published in 2012 about a trip in 2008.

In terms of content, I think I enjoyed the Shenzhen book more. China feels frustrating and foreign… but you’d expect it to. Jerusalem feels if anything more frustrating, since in theory it’s less foreign. The ongoing conflicts there involve the political ideologies and religions of the West. In reading this book, I realized I know very little about those conflicts…

As always, I admire the artist’s nonchalance in the face of daunting situations, and his ability and willingness to transmit his experiences to us in words and pictures. Sometimes the episodes depicted are funny and sometimes they’re not, but they are eye-opening.

More on when and why I read the books below.

When and why I read them

Having visited Burma (Myanmar) twice in 2011, when I saw a listing for Guy Delisle’s Burma Chronicles, I was immediately curious what I could learn from a comic about a foreigner living there. Bought the book, enjoyed it… bought the one about North Korea because I have even more to learn about strange places that I have not visited. Bought these two books (about Shenzhen and Jerusalem) for the same reasons. I’ve been to China but not to Shenzhen, which in any case has surely changed a lot since 1997, and I’ve never been to Israel.

Genre: Non-fiction (travel, comics and graphic novels)
Date started / date finished:  23-Apr-16 to 24-Apr-16
Length: 148
ISBN: 9781770460799 (paperback)
Originally published in: 2006 in French
Amazon link: Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China

Genre: Non-fiction (travel, comics and graphic novels)
Date started / date finished: 25-Apr-16 to 26-Apr-16
Length: 336
ISBN: 9781770461765 (paperback)
Originally published in: 2012 in French
Amazon link: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

Related media



  • Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
  • Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle