“The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” by Sonny Liew awarded best international comic at the Denmark’s Pingprisen 2017, held at Storm P Museum in Frederiksberg on Friday 2 June 2017.
“When I was writing and drawing the book, I never imagined it would be read in Denmark, much less win any awards there – so this is a real surprise and honour. I’ve actually looked up what the award looks like on the internet, and it’s one of the nicest statuettes I’ve ever seen – it’s full of character and whimsy, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the little guy in person. ” wrote the Singaporean graphic novelist for his acknowledgment at the award presentation.
It is an extremely ambitious tale of the struggles for Singapore’s independence from the British empire in the 1950s and 1960s. The main characters are two historical fighters for independence – Lim Chin Siong and Lee Kuan Yew – and Charlie Chan who, despite in a coffee table book and sketches, never existed.
”The Art of Charlie Chan belongs to the ever-present group of comics that produce a particular historical event or period through the eyes of an ordinary human being. This is something Sonny Liew is extraordinarily good at, while he at the same time stands out by playing genre and media conventions in ways that continue to surprise and impress over the more than 300 pages,” says Pingprisen.dk on why Liew wins the price.
Liew has achieved several awards for his graphic novel, having bagged the Singapore Literature Prize, and winning Book of the Year accolade at the Singapore Book Awards in 2016. His comic also became the best-selling local fiction title in 2015, and went on to make it to the bestseller lists at Amazon and The New York Times when it was published in the US.