atans1

Charlie and Edmund, a graphic novel about the Schoolings pls

In Uncategorized on 22/08/2016 at 5:27 am

Given that Schooling is a national hero and the struggles, efforts and successes of Colin, May and Joseph will be co-opted into the official narrative, a constructive, nation-building graphic novel is in order? Better still a subversive version? Best both versions?

Who better for either version or both than the writer (Sonny Liew, M’sian born VJC boy) and publisher (Edmund Wee, a RI boy, is the owner of Epigram Books, the book’s publisher)  of  the Art of Charlie Chan.which weaves together fictional and historical elements, with nods to events and personalities in the nation’s history, such as Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and Operation Spectrum, the so-called Marxist Conspiracy, in 1987. 

ST called the book “a vivid and satirical retelling of Singapore’s journey to nationhood through the eyes of its eponymous comic artist.”

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The National Arts Council (NAC) has withdrawn a publishing grant for the graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye on the eve of its Singapore launch because of “sensitive content”.

The council declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the decision to revoke the S$8,000 grant.

The experimental graphic novel by artist-illustrator Sonny Liew follows the story of comic-book artist Charlie Chan during the formative years of Singapore’s modern history. It weaves together fictional and historical elements, with nods to events and personalities in the nation’s history, such as Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and Operation Spectrum, the so-called Marxist Conspiracy, in 1987.

In a statement, NAC’s senior director of the literary arts sector Khor Kok Wah said: “We had to withdraw the grant when the book The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye came out because its sensitive content, depicted in visuals and text, did not meet our funding conditions. The Council will continue to support and work with Epigram, a leading publisher of Singapore literary works, on other projects.”

Application guidelines for the grant state that NAC reserves the right to withdraw funding for reasons such as “illegal or negligent acts that occur during any point of the funded project, which will adversely affect the reputation of the National Arts Council, any government bodies, public institutions, national leaders or (the applicant’s) organisation”.

CNA


Lim Chin Siong in the book is often portrayed as a hero and gets to become PM in a parallel S’pore in another universe and his S’pore is a kinder, more compassionate version of Harry’s, even if he implemented the policies LKY implemented in this wotld..

The withdrawal of a MDA grant helped sales a lot (it sold about 9,000 copies here: a best seller almost twice over by local standards) and the book also won  this year’s Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction. The win marks the first time that the prize has been awarded to a graphic novel.

The prize is organised by the National Book Development Council, with support from the National Arts Council.

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In April 2015, Epigram Books announced the launch of the inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize. With a prize of $20,000, it is the richest award of its kind in Singapore.

So in 2016, Ownself win ownself’s prize.


The book has also gotten critical acclaim from international publications such as Slate and Economist and was is available overseas. Economist take on book: http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21694495-touching-thoughtful-meditation-singapores-relentless-progress-lion-city-march

A subvervise version of the Schoolings’ saga can win the fiction prize while the constructive, nation-building version can win the non-fiction prize.

But Sonny should beware that one-party states do not like those who criticise the official version of the facts. “China Through the Ages”, a magazine offering a mild critique of the official Communist version of history, has been taken over by the right people, the team running it having been locked out http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37097832.

Sonny should be particularly careful because as a new citizen (Got do NS or not? Or like junior minister Puthu?), his citizenship can be suks suka revoked.

As for Edmund, he’s an RI boy, a member of the elite.

Epigram was originally a design shop and does, among other stuff, presentation or gift boxes. Epigram designed a very beautiful “box” made of teak and bronze. Edmund said this was done for the PAP when it honoured some people with a special copy of the PAP’s 50th anniversary book. Even the PAP appreciates classy, beautiful stuff.

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