A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

by Sonny Liew

Published by U.S. edition: Pantheon, 2016
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-101-87069-3

Age 14 and older

This sophisticated graphic novel is a biography of Singapore comics artist Charlie Chan Hock Chye. He came into maturity and tried to make a career during political upheaval in Singapore as it became independent from Britain, joined a Malay Federation, and later broke away. Tensions between communists and the anti-communists all play out as Charlie tries to succeed as a comics artist, with more and more of his work serving as political commentary. Charlie never made it big in Singapore—too many factors, including costs and competition from big-name comics like Marvel—got in his way, preventing him from providing for his aging parents as he might have. Liew inserts himself as a character to explain some of the political complexities or refer readers to the extensive notes in the back. Copious excerpts and examples of Hock Chye’s work—from posters to strips to ongoing series like “Singapore Inks,” about an office supply store and its leadership, a commentary on the Singapore government—are part of the visual narrative. The complexity and quality of this work is astonishing. Even moreso is what is stated only in a short note on the copyright page: this is a work of fiction. The story of Singapore history in the mid-to-late 20th century as presented here is real; Charlie Chan Hock Chye is not. (Age 14 and older)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest