Allison's Book Bag

One of the Greatest Chinese Stories

Posted on: May 2, 2013

Follow the adventures of Sun Wu Kong, born from a stone on Spring Mountain and given the title of the Handsome Monkey king, who seeks to learn the secret of eternal life.

The above description comes from the back cover of Monkey King, a graphic novel published by JR Comics, authorized by Tianjin Shenjie Comics in China, and translation supported by the Confucius Institute. The story of Monkey King, Journey to the West, is cited as one of the greatest Chinese novels.

The only biographical information I could find about Wei Dong Chen comes from inside the first pages of Monkey King. Chen is an artist, leader in “The New Chinese Cartoon” trend, and founder of the largest comics studio in China: Creator World. Besides publishing more than three hundred cartoons, he also serves in the role of general manager of the Beijing Book Fair.

Chao Peng is a student of Wei Dong Chen and a highly regarded cartoonist in China. He is also the director of cartoon at Creator World.

Statuette of Monkey King Sun Wukong from Beiji...

Statuette of Monkey King Sun Wukong from Beijing. Deutsch: Das Figürchen des Affenkönigs Sun Wukong aus Peking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


According to Comic Vine, the traditional origin of Monkey King is from a mythical stone egg on Flower Fruit Mountain. After demonstrations of bravery and discovery, he was granted the role of Monkey King. In his efforts to discover the secret of immortality he had at one point, he became a student of the immortal Bodhi, who granted his name of Sun Wukong. With further travels, Sun Wukong was able to take human mannerisms and traits. Sun Wukong experienced many adventures, including a famous tale about a bet against Buddha, before eventually finding himself in various cities associated with Heaven and Hell. In the back pages of the book, there is also a synopsis provided. It includes among other things the Chinese history of how the world began, the origins of Stone Monkey, his fight with the King of Hell, and his spiritual journey to find the Buddhist scripture.


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Happy New Year!

Allison’s Book Bag is currently on hiatus. I will return after a much-needed rest with reviews of Advanced Reader Copies including: Freddy Frogcaster and the Flash Flood by Janice Dean, One Two by Igor Eliseev, Incredible Magic of Being by Kathyrn Erskine, Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Robinson, and Wide as the Wind by Edward Stanton.



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