Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey
GB Tran is a young Vietnamese American artist who grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family’s history. Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of immigrants, he knew that his parents had fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. But even as they struggled to adapt to life in America, they preferred to forget the past–and to focus on their children’s future. It was only in his late twenties that GB began to learn their extraordinary story. When his last surviving grandparents die within months of each other, GB visits Vietnam for the first time and begins to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind. In telling his family’s story, GB finds his own place in this saga of hardship and heroism. Vietnamerica is a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention–and of the gift of the American immigrants’ dream, passed on to their children. Vietnamerica is an unforgettable story of family revelation and reconnection–and a new graphic-memoir classic.
John A. Lent
Grand in its scope, Asian Comics dispels the myth that, outside of Japan, the continent is nearly devoid of comic strips and comic books. Asian Comics tells the story of the major comics creators outside of Japan. Lent covers the nations and regions of Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Organized by regions of East, Southeast, and South Asia, Asian Comics provides 178 black-and-white illustrations and detailed information on comics of sixteen countries and regions–their histories, key creators, characters, contemporary status, problems, trends, and issues. One chapter harkens back to predecessors of comics in Asia, describing scrolls, paintings, books, and puppetry with humorous tinges, primarily in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan. The first overview of Asian comic books and magazines (both mainstream and alternative), graphic novels, newspaper comic strips and gag panels, plus cartoon/humor magazines, Asian Comics brims with facts, fascinating anecdotes, and interview quotes from many pioneering masters, as well as younger artists.
Kampung Boy is a favorite of millions of readers in Southeast Asia. With masterful economy worthy of Charles Schultz, Lat recounts the life of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950s: his adventures and mischief-making, fishing trips, religious study, and work on his family’s rubber plantation. Meanwhile, the traditional way of life in his village (or kampung) is steadily disappearing, with tin mines and factory jobs gradually replacing family farms and rubber small-holders. When Mat himself leaves for boarding school, he can only hope that his familiar kampung will still be there when he returns. Kampung Boy is hilarious and affectionate, with brilliant, super-expressive artwork that opens a window into a world that has now nearly vanished.
Fisso’s World in Cambodia: Living in a kingdom of wonders
What is the secret to riding your motorbike through Cambodia’s torrential monsoon downpours? What do tropical mosquitoes drink when they gatecrash your party? How many people (and bags and babies) can you cram into a car? Fisso’s World in Cambodia, Living in a kingdom of wonders, explores the ‘whats’, ‘hows’ and ‘wows!’ of life in Cambodia today with its many contradictions and surprises in a collection of fun, insightful and colorful cartoons by Sophie Lizeray. By the author-illustrator of Wandering Angkor, Fisso’s World in Cambodia brings daily Cambodian adventures to life. Survive the endless intercity bus rides, keep your cool amid erratic electricity and water cuts, navigate Cambodia’s notorious road rules, catch a stomach bug, be serenaded by supersize bull frogs, and celebrate Khmer festivals local style. The cartoon strips were first published in the Phnom Penh Post in 2014 and the book Fisso’s World in Cambodia, Living in a kingdom of wonders brings this year’s cartoons together.