Review: Foundations of Chinese Civilization: The Yellow Emperor to the Han Dynasty

I have honestly learned more from comic books than I have from sitting down and reading books. Sure none of it is deep knowledge, it’s mostly factoids and solutions to random life situations, but it’s still knowledge. There’s to teach with comics, but it’s hard. It’s a hard thing to accomplish because people always want to be entertained. If you have no desire to learn about China’s history then you should pass on this book. You have to have some desire to learn about the subject its presenting because there’s nothing here that’s going to hook you unless you just like history in general.

blog-foundations-of-chinese-civilizationFoundations of Chinese Civilization is a manga style history book. That’s the best way to describe it because it has no narrative, no story to tell. Instead it presents its history lesson in digestible pages that present China’s history.

For me it was an interesting look at China’s history because so much of what I’ve learned has come with a grain of salt. While it’s easy to read, it is quite long. I don’t recommend reading it on sitting because you’ll become numb to the events by the end of the volume. It’s informative and again digestible, but too much of anything is still too much.

The artwork is a nice fit. It’s a bit on the kiddish side, but then I get the impression this is aimed at children. The line work is thick and clean. It supports the writing on the page and in a way is interactive with its presentation.

While I found this first volume to be interesting I don’t know if I’m clamoring for more. I think that has more to do with where I am in my comic reading life than with the material. If I was game for learning more than I would definitely try the next volume. If you’re a teacher this is a great resource. If you have a child that’s interested in history or Asian culture, I would definitely recommend this. But if you’re just a comic reader looking for a strong story and art, then this is not for you.

Score: 3/5

Foundations of Chinese Civilization: The Yellow Emperor to the Han Dynasty Creator: Jing Liu Publisher: Stone Bridge Press Price: $14.95 Format: TPB; Print

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