Asiaddict TP A Cartoon Laos Cambodia Thailand Travelog by Mats 1st print


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Asiaddict Paperback
by Mats!? (Illustrator)

This amazing collection of illustrated travel chronicles the bizarre as well as the mundane experiences of a recent trip through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Wiping off the nostalgic “Shangri-La” mystique off of contemporary monstro-“Cities” like Bangkok; it reveals a more western smeared and embellished recent history…with a few “Bombs” dropped in between…With his flair for details, Mats!? takes us on a journey, littered with landmines, through a landscape of beauty and horror, humor and disbelief.

Witness! “Buddhisneyland” a theme park worthy of Walt’s. Albeit, on ACID!

Fathom! the horror of the “Khmer Rouge.” Follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. Down alleys where the shadows are rarely one’s own!

The text lays it on thick and is hilarious in its infantilism, and is well complemented by the stunning cartoon very tay*(TM) style that infuses it with the immediacy of a newspaper photo.The book is also illustrated with some stunning photography by Peri B.

Asiaddict is exactly the kind of guidebook you would want to read before going on a trip but not the kind of thing you’d ever find in a normal travel guide. Funny, but also really lurid.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Sparkplug Books

“If there’s one good thing about not having the money to travel, it’s that it gives you more free time to read travelogues like this one. OK, granted, it’s a pretty thin reward, but if I ever find myself in Laos, Thailand or Cambodia (or all three), I’ll have a pretty good idea of how to get by and what to see when I get there. Mats takes in all the local sights, describing little historical facts and local attractions while doing so, all while throwing in a few observations. The book is structured so that each place or thing only gets a page or two, with text written like it’s by an overenthusiastic tour guide (I mean that in only the best way), with a series of vivid, colorful pictures to illustrate the more interesting places. And the random facts are, well, fascinating.” – Optical Sloth

This volume is an enjoyable, irreverent series of comics-style snapshots from Southeast Asia. Mats!? has a great art style, which harkens back to 1990s black-and-white Fantagraphics comics, and his style perfectly fits the tone of this book, which is definitely not “politically correct.” Mats!? revels in his alt-culture exotification of Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos — but he also provides lots of informative details about the countries — not just the main tourist hubs, but also more obscure sights like “Buddhist Hell,” Tuol Sleng Prison, and Thai Boxing matches. The book’s subtitle, “A Far-Out Trip Across the Bizarre, Lurid, and Mundane” appropriately captures the book’s tone. Asiaddict reminds of Peter Kuper’s brilliant Comics Trips, and IMHO would make a nice complement to A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe.

Near mint, 1st print.