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There is Strangeness in the Universe Paperback – May 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Chen has been an ocean research engineer, a trial lawyer, an investment banker, and an all around eclectic. At age sixty-three as he sat quietly following his cardiologist's strict instructions, he decided to get into cartooning with no formal training in art or cartooning. Since then his cartoons have entertained hundreds (perhaps thousands) on the various boards and forums that he has posted them. He was a regular contributor to the New York Times eNewspaper, The Local, and had one of his cartoons featured in the Metropolitan Section of the print edition. It would be nice to say that his cartoons are award winning, but he hasn't submitted any cartoons to any contests and, frankly, the Pulitzer people have been kept busy handing out prizes to others. He is also the author of a well-received thriller about mysterious objects found in the bottom of the ocean and what happens when they wake up and start sending signals to outer space. Falling Star can be found on Amazon at and on other fine booksellers like Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and others. Print copies are available on CreateSpace and Amazon.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461023769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461023760
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,056,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Reed on May 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Parker on June 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
With this very clever and enjoyable book of cartoons, Renaissance Man, PHIL CHEN shows us that not only is there "Strangeness in the Universe" but if we would all just look at the world a little more the way that he does we might find the universe a much more funny place. There is no person, place or thing that is exempt from being turned into a cartoon by this very dangerous man with a pen in his hand and an idea in his head. I enjoyed this book very much. It would make a great gift for anyone who doesn't mind laughing at themselves and their place in this very strange world we all call home.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By scarlet on May 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I've known Philip Chen for about 10 months 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. And I wanted more! The book has enough content for the price, but since I know Phil, I know there are more cartoons out there for us to enjoy. So, here's hoping volume two is forthcoming.

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dee on April 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was a fun collection of cartoons that reminded me a bit of the Far Side, which was always a favorite of mine, mainly because it demonstrated how much strangeness the universe really contained. Chen's writing is fun and the artwork is well done. I've always assumed single-panel cartoons are harder to write up than multi-panel strips because there needs to be a setup and a punchline all in one frame. I'm looking forward to seeing what other strangeness is out there in Philip Chen's universe.
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