*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.
***Possible Spoilers Below***
Friday Slice of Heaven
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
The story begins in 1948 when 10-year-old Chan is working in his father’s store and devoting any and all free time to drawing anything he can find. He also has a love of manga and American and European comics which spurs him to create his own work, eventually catching the attention of Bertrand, who becomes his friend and partner in their endeavors to create their own comic book series. Bertrand writes, Chan draws, and the pair’s work shifts from giant robots to futuristic science fiction to cartoony wartime comics all the while incorporating more and more of Singapore’s political and social matters into their works: British colonialism, the formation of Malaysia, feuding political parties, extreme nationalism, and the myriad of abuses of those in power.
As we follow Chan on his nearly 70-year career as a comic book artist, we see his art style change to reflect inspirations from Osamu Tezuka, to that of “funny animal” comics that offer thinly-veiled social commentary. On his sci-fi jaunt, you see the influence of Wallace Wood, while his crime-fighting superhero, Roachman, borrows some of his design from the likes of The Shadow only with superpowers given by the bite of a mysterious cockroach, purportedly predating our own Spider-Man. There are even some Mad magazine-esque moments that dangerously parody the story of Singapore through the use of two comedians. Not only do we see yellowed pages, or taped on panels, or the halftone dots found in the comics of the time, we witness the art style also change during Chan’s interviews and when showing the interviewer (Sonny Liew). Intermixed within the pages are newspaper articles, photographs, acrylic paintings, and a whole host of other media to make this one of the most artistically diverse books by a single creator I have ever read.
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye hooked me with the inside cover and kept me amazed all the way through to the end. It’s been some time since I’ve read an OGN that made me go “Wow! Everyone needs to experience this book.” As a historical piece, it works. As a work of art, it is a staggering display of Liew’s range and mastery of storytelling and illustration. As a biographical story of a famed artist, it is without compare…despite the fact that Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a fictional character. You read that right, Denizens. Charlie Chan Hock Chye never existed. He is entirely Liew’s creation, only he is given so much life, so much personality, and his story is told in such an authoritative manner that it is nearly impossible to believe Chan is not real. But after reading this amazing work, Chan became real to me. I love him, I love his amazing body of work which doesn't actually exist; I truly wish it did. Buy this book and experience this wonderful story as soon as you can, it desperately requires your immediate attention.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Seven to Eternity #7
This month, we split from Adam Osidis and the Mud King in order to follow the rest of the Mosak crew who recently joined with Adam’s daughter, Katie, a woman with a mysterious ability to control animals. Katie has tracked her father only to find the Mosak surrounding the fallen Jevalia who is losing herself to the will of the swamp Adam left her to die in. The situation is dire.
Remender continues to do no wrong with any of his many heavenly series and Seven to Eternity has quickly become my favorite of the favorites. The story is not hurt in the slightest with guest-artist Harren, who is a great fit to this epic fantasy series. In fact, I would LOVE it if Remender and Harren created a prequel Seven to Eternity mini-series to immerse their readers in as we continue to move forward in this dire yet gorgeous world. You can catch up on this amazing series with the first trade, which will definitely leave you hungry for more more more. Dang, this series is out of this world.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Slice into the Woods
POTUS #45 Continues to Embarrass the USA - I am dreadfully late, but just wanted to point out how #45 finally got some dreamy man-on-man-on-man time with Putin and Tillerson this week in a behind-closed-doors meeting that was supposed to last 30 minutes but actually went on for more than 120 minutes. God, Stupid Watergate just continues to go on and on and on.
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