Guy Delisle - Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Okay, so this might be a controversial pick, but I enjoyed this book and have been meaning to blog about it for a while now. I am definitely not seeking out anything to do with N. Korea while here in Seoul (Someone I'm travelling with is going to the DMZ), but I'd be lying if I told you I'm not thinking about the looming presence of evil hanging over our heads. That being said, this Korean-inspired pick is a graphic novel about the evil neighbour to the north. I picked this one up at the brick-and -mortar store for Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal, and it has been one of my favourite picks from that publisher.
Quebec cartoonist and animator Guy Delisle travelled to North Korea as a liason for animation companies. While there, he chronicled his experiences in Pyongyang over a couple of months by creating a graphic novel. The book takes an honest and interesting look at his experiences as a foreigner in one of the most closed off countries in the world.
The book isn't filled with horrific stories of the impoverished, but is instead filled with unsettling accounts of empty streets and brainwashed hosts. Delisle keeps a record of all of the odd interactions with his coworkers and hosts who are tasked to follow him around all day.
Overall, the book avoids being too political (given the subject matter), and just gives an honest account from an interesting perspective. Pyongyang isn't the first or last of Guy Delisle's graphic diaries. He also has written/drawn his travelogues from his trips to Shenzhen, Burma, and Jerusalem.