Son of Formosa1
*Like Persepolis, Son of Formosa explores Taiwan’s contemporary history through the story of an ordinary person.
*The simple yet gracefully drawn lines depicts the protagonist’s joy and sorrow. Different periods of his life are vividly represented in various styles.
*The pleasant and lively plot is narrated elaborately with tenderness.
*The tale reveals an ordinary person’s perseverance despite the hardships he faces in turbulent times.
This is an autobiographical graphic novel that details the life of Tsai Kun-lin, who was born in Qingshui, Taichung in 1930s Taiwan and lived through the Japanese rule, Chinese Nationalist Party's retreat to Taiwan, the White Terror period and the democratization process after the lifting of martial law. The complete publication consists of four volumes, each portraying a different period of the protagonist’s life. The comic artist also uses different techniques for each period. The synopses of each volume are as follows:
Volume I: A Boy Who Loves to Read
(Soft pencil lines depicts Taiwan under Japanese rule and Tsai’s carefree childhood)
In the 1930s, young Tsai Kun-lin grows up happily with the company of nursery rhymes and picture books on Qingshui Street, Taichung under Japanese rule. With the emergence of war comes parades, air raids, and conscription. No one can escape. After the war, the book-loving teenager tries hard to learn Mandarin and believes he is finally stepping towards a comfortable future, but little does he know, a dark cloud awaits him ahead.
- Slowork Publishing, founded in 2013 and based in Taiwan, produces documentary comics set in countries across the Asian world. Slowork comics make Asia come alive for the reader through biography, autobiography, memoirs, anecdotes, reportage, vignettes from everyday life, and first-hand personal accounts.
The project aspires to forge a unique form of documentary unlike that of either film or literature, treating topics thus far less often addressed in Asia, as seen through the eyes of talented writers.