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Scenes of Strangeness [Kindle Edition]

Philip Chen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 331 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Scenes of Strangeness brings together in one Box Set cartoons from There is Strangeness in the Universe and the anti-holiday, Happy Holidaze and Other Tragedies of Life. In addition, the set has a bonus pack of cartoons not in the previous two collections. Over 250 cartoons.

Phil Chen started cartooning at age 63, when his cardiologist told him to spend a weekend avoiding exercise of any kind (not hard to do in Phil's case) while he arranged for an angiogram. Phil's doctor thought that he was going to burst some pipes or something. So with nothing to do, Phil surfed the web and came across an astronomical theory which said that a parallel universe filled with strange matter has to exist in order to keep ours in cosmic balance. This was a very intriguing concept. As he thought about what this strange universe might look like, Phil started sketching scenes of strangeness. Without any formal art or cartoon training, he embarked on a journey of recording the inhabitants of this parallel world.

Since 2007, his cartoons were used by the New York Times as part of their hyperlocal web paper, The Local, and have appeared on numerous forums. One of his cartoons even made it into the print edition of the New York Times. One of his cartoons was used by CNN as an officially designated iReport.

Phil's work has been compared to, among others, James Thurber, Gary Larson and Bill Watterson cartoons. Rick Parker, who is known as the comic genius behind MTV's Beavis and Butthead Comic Book, calls Phil a "very dangerous man."

Hope you enjoy them.

Phil is also a serious writer.  His first well-received, very realistic science fiction thriller. Falling Star has been acquired by almost 30.000 readers (about 5,000 purchased).  Falling Star's ASIN is B003YCPK4C

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Editorial Reviews


There is a five star review of Scenes of Strangeness by "englishheather" on the UK page that analyzes these cartoons in an almost clinical fashion.  I wish that I could reproduce it in detail here, but you will have to see it to enjoy how one reader literally went through my cartoons in minute detail.  I am only glad that she enjoyed it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6359 KB
  • Print Length: 331 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars strangeness continues March 27, 2012
By scarlet
Format:Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: I've known Philip Chen for about a year now, and have enjoyed his cartoons as he's posted them on line. So, I was thrilled when he gathered a bunch of them together and made them available as a book. Phil's sense of reminds me of Gary Larson and Bill Watterson. You have to have a skewed sense of reality to enjoy these cartoons, and fortunately, I do. I snickered to myself a bit while reading the book, and laughed out loud on the subway a few times. I have two small quibbles with the cartoons. I love the captions, but some of the explanatory titles detracted from my enjoyment.

Note: Comment has been made about the size of the cartoons. On my DX, the cartoons were easily readable, even more so when I zoomed into them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Contrary to Amazon's editorial note that this review is for Scenes of Strangeness, it is not. I have not read the entire boxed set of cartoons. I did download Happy Holidaze free during a promotion earlier. It is a collection of cartoons, links, and commentary by Philip Chen. I read this book on my new Kindle Touch and was amazed that I could enjoy pictures as well as text. As someone who has tried drawing, I can appreciate the author's drawing skill. The cartoon subjects are zany and whimsical. The author documents the subjects with links to the articles that inspired his intellectual humor. It's not easy to choose a favorite cartoon. Among the contenders are The Modern Granny and Her Urban Walker,Mark I; Garlic Press; and the author's artistic commentary on the rapture, burglars, and the origin of the pot belly. This book is a first for me, so I do not know of another for comparison. However, I was reminded of James Thurber as I perused Philip Chen's visual poke in the ribs. If you've ever wondered what the world is coming to, Philip Chen explains it all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangeness Indeed March 26, 2012
By R. Reed
Format:Kindle Edition
This is my review of the first volume, "There is Strangeness in the Universe." I will add to it when I read this collection of both volumes.

Philip Chen says that at the age of 63 he suddenly became a cartoonist. I hope it didn't hurt. After being an engineer who worked on top secret underwater stuff for the U.S. government (see his novel "Falling Star") Mr. Chen was ready for a lighter take on the universe. His cartoons start with odd news stories (carefully referenced in the back so you know he isn't making this stuff up) and his own peculiar inspirations and take you to the logical conclusion of illogical events.

My favorite is the Easter Island statue who pursues a career in dance. There are also microbes who nosh on petroleum, whales who file lawsuits, leaves that worry about their mortality, and bears who face a rash of home invasions. If you miss "The Far Side," check out Mr. Chen's cartoons.

The Kindle is not the ideal display platform for cartoons, I sometimes wished I could enlarge the hand drawn lettering as I can regular fonts. Still, I enjoyed this book very much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much much more than a collection of cartoons August 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It was comics from my childhood plus a fascination with anything cartoonized which attracted me to this set of books. When I downloaded it on Amazon UK in April last year (free at that time) I made rather a lot of notes. Last August the impending demise of the Dandy - a comic that has been 'there' all my (very long) life - inspired me to go through them and write a review on the UK site. As Philip Chen has expressed a wish for it to be reproduced on this US site, here it is (slightly adapted) for anyone who may find it of interest.

To start at the end: the most valuable asset within this collection is the goldmine of internet links to the true stories upon which many of the cartoons are based. I learned so much from these articles and felt much greater appreciation for the cartoons once I had read them.


As young children my sister and I weren't allowed to see the news but cartoons were fine, they being regarded as unreal, harmless and humerous. Of course, this couldn't be further from the truth in a lot of cases but it meant we could read the comic strips in the Mirror (!) such as Andy Capp, have the Beano, Dandy, Topper and Beezer comics and watch animations like Tom and Jerry.

Cartoons can depict reality or provide an escape from reality, or they can simply entertain us irrespective of any agenda. Somehow, unacceptable behaviour in real life, such as violence, is construed as funny and is even applauded, when portrayed in cartoons. More constructively, there are cartoons which manage to get across important messages that 'real' pictures and/or the written/spoken word often fail to do, such as those for road safety.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cartoons will never be the same again. May 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Phil Chen is a wonderful author, and now I know he's also a great cartoonist. I enjoyed his characters and world in Falling Star (The Watchers). Little did I know at the time how creative and talented he was with cartoons and wit. Not only did I snort and chuckle, I laughed out loud. I applauded his vision, and with a few precise words to lead you into the next cartoon, I was gladly off again in the direction he was taking me. Mr. Chen's sense of reality - and strangeness - is refreshing. These are not your daily cartoons. My only complaint was the books were finished!!! What, no more? That can't be! Now I don't know whether to want the next in the Falling Star to be written, or another book of his cartoons and reality. This series of cartoons is something to pull out over and over to share with others, or just when you think your world is getting a little stale. These won't get old anytime soon! Very good, Mr. Chen. Keep writing and drawing.
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More About the Author

Philip Chen was born in China in 1944 and immigrated to the United States in 1949. Growing up in Washington, D.C., during the 1950s and 1960s, Philip learn both the pains and triumphs of American society at a crucial turning point in America's history. Washington in the 1950s was at the cross roads of Southern institutionalized racism and Northern false hope; a fact not lost on this alien child as he navigated the treacherous shoals of an Asian in a segregated society.

After receiving a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science from Stanford University, he worked as an ocean research engineer in the development of deep submergence systems. Part of his work dealt with vehicles that could freely dive to 20,000 feet of water depth. He also participated as a hyperbaric chamber operator for manned dives inside a pressure chamber to 1,500 feet. He holds one U.S. Patent for an underwater mooring system.

After his stint as an ocean research engineer, Philip was an environmental and energy engineer, a trial attorney, a public securities attorney, an investment banker, a corporate executive, a private equity manager (in Africa), a strategic consultant, a cartoonist, an illustrator, a website manager, and author. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

One of his mentors once told Philip that it wasn't that he couldn't hold down a job; he couldn't even hold down a career!

He is married with two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters, who are his pride and joy.

Phil's biography has been included in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World for many years.


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