Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle I spent the summer holidays of my Canadian childhood reading comic books. Not Batman or the Beano which were too parochial for my taste — i. In those days an inspirational American publisher named Albert Kanter produced a series called Classics Illustrated. Over 30 years he adapted literary masterpieces into evocative graphic storybooks. Apart from the genius of Robert Crumb , Art Spiegelman and Posy Simmonds , everything else seemed worthy only of the "funny pages", a minor distraction at the back of the weekend paper.
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Burma, also known as Myanmar, has been under military control since a coup in , and it has a reputation of being one of the worst dictatorships on the planet.
In , President George W. Guy Delisle and his family spent a year living in Burma while his wife worked for Doctors Without Borders. Fortunately, there was no outbreak during their visit. Since Guy is an animator, he seeks out other graphic artists whenever he visits a new country. A particularly moving scene is when he travels to meet an elderly Burmese artist and reverently looks at the original pages of his comic published in , which had inspired a generation of illustrators.
Sadly, the political situation changes and the government makes it more difficult for foreign nonprofit agencies to work there. Toward the end of their stay in Burma, Guy attends a meditation retreat at a temple and tries to focus his awareness: "After 42 hours of meditation in 3 days, I feel more peaceful than ever before, but also very alert. How long can this state of grace last? It could be a hard landing.
Burma Chronicles- Guy Delisle
Burma through the artist's eye