Adapted from the original 1959 novel by popular Chinese writer Louis Cha Leung-Yeung (6 February 1924 – 30 October 2018), Return of the Condor Heroes《神雕侠侣》is a fantasy martial arts manga that tells the love story of Yang Guo and his beautiful teacher, Dragon Girl, during the turmoil of the Song Dynasty in China.
Return of the Condor Heroes was originally a classical Chinese literary work and the second book of Cha’s Condor Trilogy. First published in Singapore in 1997 as a manga series, Return of the Condor Heroes has now been redesigned and repackaged into a limited-edition Collector’s Edition Boxset. This boxset contains six beautiful hardcover volumes encased in a box case, coloured comic pages, new bonus pages, and an autographed bookplate by the artist.
In this new artistic rendition, the original literature is brought to life by Singaporean comic artist Wee Tian Beng’s breathtaking illustrations. Portraying the heroes’ ill-fated adventures with artistic detail and mastery, Wee’s work took Asia by storm in the 90’s, and has since left an indelible legacy in Asian popular culture.
It may be difficult to find someone of Chinese ethnicity who has not heard of Louis Cha. Coined by many fans as the "J.R.R. Tolkien of Asia" Cha, or better known by his pen name Jin Yong, is most acclaimed for his modern Chinese language Wuxia (“martial arts and chivalry” themed) novels. His first novel, The Book and the Sword, was published in 1955 and became an instant hit, earning him a reputation as one of the finest Wuxia writers.
As one of the best-selling Chinese authors in history with over 100 million copies of his works sold worldwide in numerous languages, Cha has a widespread following among readers across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and North America. Additionally, many of his literary titles have been adapted into all forms of popular media, such as films, television series, comics and video games.
Cha’s ingenious and socially and culturally significant stories have bridged geographical and ideological differences, touching the hearts of readers since the mid-to-late 20th century. The Return of the Condor Heroes manga adaptation is the first ever comic adaptation of Cha’s legendary literary works. With its highly popular and widely-accessible themes of action and fantasy, the series is something that readers from various backgrounds and cultures can look forward to. It not only brings something new and refreshing for fans of Louis Cha and the Wuxia genre in literature, but can also be enjoyed and appreciated by a universal comic audience, with its exciting action-packed narrative and aesthetic qualities.
While the comic book genre is more commonly associated with graphic novel titles in the West and manga publications in Japan, Return of the Condor Heroes manga series is the first of its kind, as a Southeast Asian publication that transforms a Chinese literary classic into a modern work of art. The 1997 print edition was hugely popular in Singapore during its original run, quickly taking Asia by storm, as clamouring demand in other countries soon led to its release in different editions in addition to the English and Chinese print.
It eventually became a hit in the local comic and literature scene, as well as that of other Chinese-speaking countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan. The entire manga series was later translated into multiple languages, including English, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, in various countries across Asia, making history in the comic book industry
The Return of the Condor Heroes Collector’s Edition Boxset in both English and Chinese languages is available on the Asiapac Book webstore for purchase and international shipping.