“The history of Singapore and the history of comics are blended in this tour de force that follows the career of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, an imaginary Singaporean cartoonist. Liew mimics styles from manga to comics strips, as Chye tries to find his own voice while adapting to the shifting social and political climate. ”
Meanwhile, the Singapore Writers Festival is almost over, but I’ll be on one more panel with Gosho Aoyoma on Sunday 13 November, so do drop by if you’re in town 🙂
“A stunning tour de force masterpiece of imagined and real history as Liew recreates the entire career of the titular cartoonist via art and photos to explore the history of both comics and Singapore.”
“An early candidate for the various best-of lists for 2016, this superlative achievement… tells the story not only of Singaporean artist and comics creator Charlie Chan Hock Chye, but of Singapore itself… a tumultuous sweep that is mirrored in the history of cartooning. Make no mistake: this multilayered book is a masterpiece.”
“The combination of a powerful message, artistic virtuosity, and a fascinating framing device make for an un-put-downable read… This relentlessly engaging work stretches the boundaries of the graphic novel medium and is highly recommended for fans of political satire, Chris Ware, or Art Spiegelman.”
Cartooning often relies on visual shorthands and exaggerations, so it’s a easy slide into racist caricatures, even if the intention might be to make identification easier. Not always an easy line to thread, but awareness of the issue is probably the first step towards any sort of solution.