Guy Delisle: Shading In North Korea

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When someone hears about North Korea, most of the time, they might automatically think of the sadistic, manipulative regime that brainwashes its people. After the Korean War ended, North Korea has become the the most isolated, secretive country in the world (Cripps). However, as of 2010, North Korea has changed its policy to allow foreigners to visit in guided tours (Cripps). When the hermit nation opened the doors to travelers and foreign investments, cartoonist Guy Delisle became one of the few people to witness the life inside of Pyongyang when he was assigned to oversee the production of a cartoon in a North Korean animation studio. The graphic novel he produced as a result of his visit documents his experiences and provides a rare glimpse behind the …show more content…

Delisle regularly uses the technique of shading to isolate an image, or create contrast between the panels. An example of Delisle’s exemplary use of shading can be seen when Guy is walking back to the hotel. On the previous page, Guy is walking through pitch blackness with only the car lights flashing on him. Proceeding onto the next page, the reader can see only the outline of heavily-shaded buildings in the background; but in the center of the page, an image of the great leader is presented with bright lights, so the reader’s eyes naturally are drawn toward the center of the page (Figure 1). Delisle uses this technique to force his readers to focus on a specific detail in an image. On this particular page, Delisle wants to bring attention to the amount of propaganda that is scattered around North Korea and how the government only allows the people to see certain things. In addition to shading, the panel layout throughout this graphic novel is presented in a disoriented, but clever way. Delisle tends to zoom in or focus on an image to intensify the message or meaning. When Delisle first arrives in North Korea, he is immediately stunned by the statue of Kim Il-Sung. Delisle

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