Sonny Liew on the Inspiration and Publishing Process for His Graphic Novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

Comic artist and graphic novelist Sonny Liew grew up in Singapore and was always intrigued by the country's local history. In his late teens, Liew realized that there were major differences between the mainstream historical narrative and the alternate history of the country. He wanted to explore these differences further and illustrate them through comic art, but just didn't have a means of publishing the work due to the nature of the content. When Singapore publisher Epigram Books received a grant to publish several comic books, owner Edmund Wee approached Liew about participating in the project. Liew decided this was the perfect opportunity to go from concept to published work with his idea. The resulting graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye was the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize for fiction. It was also a New York Times and Amazon bestseller and nominated for six Eisner awards. Liew has been pleased with reader reaction to his book and has been surprised at the young age of some of his fans. The content of the book did create some controversy and Liew has learned that as a writer, you will always get both positive and negative feedback. You must decide for yourself which feedback is valid.

Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn