There are travelogues, there are graphics novels and then there are travelogues in the form of graphic novels. Guy DeLisle sucks as all three.
Entitlement of a Slob
If this review seems a little harsh too bad.
The author’s discontent in Burma is based on superficialities and a fat sense of entitlement. Yes, it is not his duty to try and empathize with those in less fortunate parts of the world or ponder on how little he appreciates life under trying circumstances, but then looks like his wife is making a lot of those decisions and making damn good ones at that. In one year, all that he has learnt of the Burmese is that they are servile, corrupt and willfully censored.
He “tries” out meditation and is doubtful about whether to stay for 3 days. His record keeping stats are how long he can hold out without air conditioning in summer and wanting to visit rife torn areas expecting to “adventure”. – So it fails as any meaningful work of insight into the country. Other than snark directed at the dictatorship for which there is enough content on the internet anyways.
His only travel panels of the country show ~10 pages of tourist traps. For a fact, Burma has some of the most delicious food in the south east Asian subcontinent, and he had nothing to mention of it, other than hankering for pop tarts and Australian BBQ? How much more insulated do you want to become, especially when planning to write about a country?
If his attempts at coming off as a typical western unread traveler involves drawing a self deprecating image of himself pushing a baby cart with shorts then there too I fail to see originality or insight. A little more active exploration on his part of the political and geographical history of the country, interesting conversations and a genuine effort to understand the culture might have added a little more depth to this sorry collection of pages that masquerades as a novel.