[...] another series of charming and deceptively complex vignettes, but ones with even more depth than he’s ever achieved. More balanced and accessible than many other works on the complex region, it is a perfect conclusion to his worldwide storytelling.Toronto Star
2012 Fauve d’Or at the Festival Intl de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême
Acclaimed graphic memoirist Guy Delisle returns with his strongest work yet—a thoughtful and moving travelogue about life in the Holy City. Guy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of contemporary Jerusalem, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books, Pyongyang, Shenzhen, and Burma Chronicles, required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to. In Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays.
When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle’s drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything. Jerusalem showcases once more Delisle’s mastery of the travelogue.
Translated from the French by Helge Dascher.
Praise for Jerusalem
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, which recounts a year that Delisle and his family spent living in the ancient Middle Eastern city, is not only his biggest book and his first in colour, but it also won the Best Comic Album prize (the Fauve d'Or) at this year's International Comics Festival in Angoulême, France, making him the first Canadian to win the prestigious honour.Globe and Mail
To anyone in my position I’d like to recommend a wonderfully candid book, which makes the [Israeli-Palestinian colfict's] hideously insoluble complexities more vividly understandable than anything else I have encountered. Wryly ironic observational comedy dominates, but Delisle is no cynical satirist.Telegraph on Jerusalem
He crafts a fascinating account of the cultures and religions that are woven together in this ancient city [...] Later in the book, Delisle chats with a young Palestinian about comic books. The man lives in nearby Nablus and hasn't left in three years. Israel's military presence makes it feel like a prison, he says.Star Tribune
Insofar as it's a memoir, Jerusalem is low-key and humorous, and brings to mind Ross McElwee's documentary Sherman's March.Slant Magazine
Delisle, a former animator, has a knack for visual shorthand ... and for drawing environments: religious shrines and settlements, but also grocery stores, playgrounds and checkpoints — lots of checkpoints. The cultural and physical barriers among the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities in and around Jerusalem, and the compromises and work-arounds the city’s residents have been forced to devise, become the source of dark but gentle comedy: absurdity teetering on the edge of tragedy.New York Times
Jerusalem is Delisle’s biggest and most accomplished work to date [...] It’s a conversational dialogue in which he jumps deftly between the sacred and the mundane [...] They’re stories of human minutiae in a place we only see in times of political strife on the news, when it blends into all the other stories of political strife and we become numb to it. Without Delisle we might never learn what it’s actually like to live in a place like this, or get a realistic idea of the people we would meet if we did.New Statesman
Jerusalem provides both an excellent introduction to the conflict in the Middle East and a fascinating close-up of what it’s like to live in the most sacred city in the world. With so much to see and learn about, Jerusalem was always going to be his longest work, but it’s his juxtaposition of the various points of view — Israeli, Palestinian, Christian, that of Médecins Sans Frontières, and his own — that makes it his best.National Post
Delisle’s impact is more quiet and cumulative, best taken in single concentrated sittings. Quotidian details and small revelations add up until it dawns on you that you’re being presented, bit by bit, with a remarkably rich picture of a place you may well never see for yourself. It’s no coincidence that Jerusalem, his longest book yet, is also his best.Montreal Gazette
The book is fair, but it doesn’t pull punches either. As an outsider, Delisle can float above the political fray, pointing out the absurdities on all sides [...] and it will no doubt cement Delisle’s reputation as a master cartoonist [...] The French edition of Jerusalem, released in November, sold 70,000 copies in two months and won the Fauve d’Or at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the comic book equivalent of best film at Cannes.Maclean's
[Jerusalem] is a small miracle: concise, even-handed, highly particular.Guardian
I haven’t looked at any of Delisle’s work before and I have to say that the art is amazing. He uses two hues for most panels—black and then a second hue at varying saturations—but sometimes throws in splashes of other colours. Delisle uses this technique to bring the reader’s attention to specific details or to indicate loud noises. The visual effect is lovely. Delisle’s lines are simple, his page layouts straightforward.Geist
The tone of [Jerusalem] is by turns gently humorous and dumbfounded. His drawing style... suits his brisk, snapshot approach.Financial Times
My original expectations were surpassed by a desire to travel more and carry a sketch book with me more often. The humorous human element of tense political and religious contexts in real situations brought me genuine happiness and joy. The illustrative maps and symbols in the work gave me a better understanding of the Middle Eastern region than all of my education and news input combined.Dig Boston
The book follows up on his last several books [...] and it shares these books’ striking greige palette, accessible narrative and compelling insights into places many of us have not and may never go. His voice is fresh, funny and exceedingly honest, and he’s not afraid to poke at nationalist foibles and cultural clichés, while still giving privileged access to the cities and countries he visits by engaging with unique characters that fall far outside the expected.Cult Montreal
Jerusalem takes Guy's slightly befuddled, easily flustered cipher to… yes, you guessed it Jerusalem, where he finds himself in the seat of many religious interests. He visits both sides of the wall. He encounters bureaucracy, idiosyncratic transport, bizarre social occasions, and the unifying togetherness of human concern. What we're left with is a book that is fair about the conflicts and difference of religions but also manages to capture the human spirit in all its contradictions and emotions.Booktrust