Vancouver’s David H.T. Wong (http://www.davidwong.ca/), an architect by trade, has created “an epic graphic novel for young people about Chinese immigrants in North America” with a release date set for October 16, 2012. For some sample pages and new information, check out Wong’s Facebook page. I love graphic novels, so I’ll definitely be grabbing this when it comes out.
The history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the US over the past 100-plus years has been fraught with sadness and indignity; newcomers to North America encountered discrimination, subjugation, and separation from loved ones. As well, in Canada the Chinese head tax was introduced after the Canadian Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 to discourage Chinese immigrants, while in the US, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act outright banned Chinese immigration to America. Despite such obstacles, these Chinese newcomers persevered in order to create a better life for the generations to come.
Escape to Gold Mountain is the first graphic novel to tell their story: based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for “Gold Mountain” (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. They traverse the challenges of eking out an existence in their adopted homeland with hope and determination, creating a poignant immigrant’s legacy for their sons and daughters.
Escape to Gold Mountain is a moving and gripping story for all young North Americans.
This is action-packed history for new generations in which David H.T. Wong presents over 100 years of Gold Mountain stories, drawn and told with passion and a critical eye. A rousing tribute to our pioneers!
—Paul Yee, author of Ghost Train and Tales from Gold Mountain
A tour-de-force artistic and conceptual achievement that will redefine how Chinese in North America and others perceive our common history.
—Anthony B. Chan, author of Gold Mountain and Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong
Escape To Gold Mountain is an important book that plays to the strength of the graphic novel form. It encapsulizes the struggle of the Chinese in North America in a sweeping visual narrative, attacking a complex storyline that takes in the opium wars to early immigration, railroad workers, the head tax, and the Chinese exclusion act. Forget Batman; Escape to Gold Mountain reveals that the real superheroes are the ones who toil and sacrifice for their families in the face of obscurity.
—Tony Wong, journalist
The First Nations people have a great oral tradition, and David H.T. Wong’s comic book is a wonderful way to continue that tradition, along with his illustrations. This is a book for new and future generations that will create pride in the rich cultures we share.
—Chief Leonard George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation