THIRTY-SIX STRATEGEMS - Illustrated Version
The art of war is always fascinating to those who indulge in its games. Here is the entire story told in pictures. It should bring much joy to the young and the old.
THREE centuries ago, a scholar of unknown identity but one with great
foresight compiled the 36 "principles" of strategic deception in war into
a single volume.
In this Asiapac version, the popular Chinese military classic is recast
in comicbook form by Wang Xuanming, a Beijing cartoonist of some repute.
However, the subject matter is too serious to be rendered in such
manner. Thus, Asiapac's Thirty-Six Strategems leaves a lingering sense of
There is really nothing funny about the art of war. It calls for the
destruction of human lives in the quickest possible time and with as much
damage as possible to the adversary's resources so as to render him
As much as I could see the point of translating an ancient treatise
about defeating the enemy, I fail to see the humorous side of it.
Thirty-Six Stratagems could have come across better if it had not been
rendered in the usual Asiapac cartoon style, replete with chubby little
figures with cherubic faces dispensing war wisdoms.
The subject called for a more sombre style of graphic illustration.
In addition, there is a lot about cutting the enemy down to size that is
impossible to translate to the visual medium because in many cases, it is
a matter of mind.
There is more to war than simply knowing how to increase the odds in
The art of war is knowing your enemy well and knowing yourself better.
For something as metaphysical as that, no comicbook, no matter how well
done, can be accurate in capturing its totality.
Thirty-Six Stratagems is nice to behold but that's just about it. By all
means, read this book for fun but do not entertain thoughts of becoming
another Genghiz Khan or Norman Schwarzkopf.
If you want to be a military strategist, a winner of battles, a
conqueror of men, there are other ways to learn about beating the enemy.
Perhaps it is best not to teach our children that war can be fun. It is
hoped that this book is not aimed at a young audience.