A graphic story that in­spires with de­light

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - BOOKS - Mike Donachie Metro | Canada

Only rarely can a book in­spire such de­light and joy as this. It is a trea­sure of graphic sto­ry­telling, not least be­cause it does things that only graphic sto­ry­telling can do.

It works on sev­eral lev­els, won­der­fully. Liew presents the fic­tional life story of Chan, an el­derly comics artist in Sin­ga­pore, through reprint­ing his work, from full strips to scraps of crum­pled pa­per, and fram­ing it with in­ter­view-style se­quences fea­tur­ing Chan, and some­times Liew.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, he presents the com­pelling mod­ern his­tory of Sin­ga­pore, as Chan lives through so­cial and po­lit­i­cal change and folds it into his comics work with vary­ing amounts of sub­tlety.

Mean­while, this is also the his­tory of comic books, re­flected in Chan’s chang­ing style and adding a layer of fun for comic book fans who can spot the ref­er­ences.

Every­thing here is gor­geous and re­ward­ing, adding up to one of 2016’s most im­por­tant graphic nov­els. It’s per­fect.

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