Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem, recently published by Drawn & Quarterly, was one of those books (well, graphic novels) that I enjoyed while reading but had to force myself to pick up. I think this might have been due to the almost unvarying tone of deadpan humour and observation. There is no real story here, just vignettes of Delisle encountering the oddities and absurdities of life as an outsider in this conflicted city. I do feel I know more about Jerusalem than I did before I read the over 300 pages of Delisle’s book, and the art is terrific – considerably better than in Delisle’s previous books like Pyongyang – but I didn’t feel much of anything upon reading the last page.
However, one page I really liked, and that came as a complete surprise, is where Delisle sits down to watch the French-Canadian horror flick Martyrs. It’s the only movie mentioned in the whole book – and there’s a great little panel with a word balloon in red denoting a scream (otherwise there’s very little colour in the book) coming from the speaker as Delisle watches on his computer. Anyway, love that (somewhat obscure) film.
Full review is here.