A 2017 Eisner Award Winner for Best Writer/Artist, Best US Edition of International Material—Asia, and Best Publication Design
Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2016
A New York Times bestseller
An Economist Book of the Year 2016
An NPR Graphic Novel Pick for 2016
A Washington Post Best Graphic Novel of 2016
A New York Post Best Books of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A South China Morning Post Top 10 Asian books of 2016
An A.V. Club Best Comics of 2016
A Comic Books Resources Top 100 Comics of 2016
A Mental Floss Most Interesting Graphic Novel of 2016
Meet Charlie Chan Hock Chye.
Now in his early 70s, Chan has been making comics in his native Singapore since 1954, when he was a boy of 16. As he looks back on his career over five decades, we see his stories unfold before us in a dazzling array of art styles and forms, their development mirroring the evolution in the political and social landscape of his homeland and of the comic book medium itself.
With The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye Sonny Liew has drawn together a myriad of genres to create a thoroughly ingenious and engaging work, where the line between truth and construct may sometimes be blurred, but where the story told is always enthralling, bringing us on a uniquely moving, funny, and thought-provoking journey through the life of an artist and the history of a nation.
An early candidate for the various best-of lists for 2016, this superlative achievement from Liew (The Shadow Hero) tells the story not only of Singaporean artist and comics creator Charlie Chan Hock Chye, but of Singapore itself. It hardly matters, of course, that the titular character is an invention of Liew's, because his story is so real that some early reviewers assumed Liew's protagonist had to be a real person. Chye's story, from his youthful beginnings and early career as an artist to his later reminiscences, is fascinating in itself, but Liew's inclusion of fabricated newspaper clippings, old sketches, and mixed media works and even an occasional photo collage purporting to show us first-hand evidence of Charlie's life is riveting. As Chye's life is revealed, so is the history of Singapore, a tumultuous sweep that is mirrored in the history of cartooning. Make no mistake: this multilayered book is a masterpiece.