Omnivoracious interviews Guy Delisle

“Graphic Novel Friday: Best Graphic Novels of April” / Omnivoracious / Alex Carr / May 3, 2017

Hostage by Guy Delisle (Drawn and Quarterly): Writer/illustrator Guy Delisle built a cartooning career in exploring destinations less-traveled like Pyongyang, Burma, and Jerusalem. In Hostage, however, Delisle breaks character and studies the harrowing months of kidnapping and imprisonment in the life of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André. In 1997, André is captured in the Caucasus and subsequently handcuffed to a radiator in a cell for over 100 days. During this time, he has no communication with the guards and is unchained only to use the toilet and eat. Delisle employs a blue hue in his pages, showcasing the repetitive and muted existence of imprisonment, where André must use his own mind to stave off despair. It’s this boredom that Delisle showcases over 100 days of little variation, where the reader, in turn, must raise the stakes in his or her own mind, questioning the nature of hostage negotiations and witnessing the demoralization of captivity. At over 400 pages, it’s a bleak read but never less than fascinating, a surprising and welcome shift in Delisle’s already impressive catalogue.

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