The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
Why this book?
This graphic novel is framed as an interview biography with Charlie, a 72-year-old Singaporean comics creator, as he reflects on his life. We see sketches from his old journals, and more interestingly, comics from his long and robust career. His comics start off as whimsical heroic tales about a boy and a giant robot. But as Charlie matures, he takes in the politics of Singapore—the protests, wars, and changing government. As he digests this world around him, his comics change, from action comics to comic strips to satire to autobiographical to, well, all over the board. We see his thoughts on a turbulent, evolving Singapore laced within these comics—sometimes subtlely, often overtly—as well as glimpses into his relationships and his financial struggles. This masterfully told story falls amongst my favorite comics.