In one of the last remaining jungles in Singapore, an old bicycle is unearthed in an archaeological dig. Its discovery brings the elderly Lim Ah Cheng back to a time when he rode with his life on the line…
Meticulously researched by the creator of Singapore’s first daily comic strip The House of Lim, cartoonist Cheah Sinann, The Bicycle tells the tale of Toshiro Iwakura, an aristocratic, battle-hardened private haunted by his desire to cycle in the Olympics, and five-year-old street urchin Ah Cheng, who dreams of nothing more than learning how to ride a bike. Their paths cross during the Japanese Occupation, when a unique bond formed over two wheels is quickly put to a life-or-death test.
"I recommended The Bicycle to my customers even though I had not read it yet. Somehow, I believed that the friendship between a Japanese soldier and a Chinese boy during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore would make a heartwarming story. And I was right. Wars beget cruelties but sufferings also induce compassion. This story chooses to highlight the latter and reminds us that soldiers are human beings too. Though it has a sad ending and the Noir illustrations add pathos to the scene, I was uplifted after I closed the book. I'm a first-time graphic novel reader and so glad that I started with The Bicycle."
—Anthony Koh Waugh, bookseller and writer, in "My Book of the Year 2018", Singapore Unbound
Page Count: 112
Year Published: 2014