Rampokan Jawa & Selebes

Title: Rampokan Compleet : Java & Celebes
Author: Peter van Dongen
Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2014
168 pages

I am not into comic since I like to have unlimited imagination about things I read. But knowing that there is a comic written and drawn by Peter van Dongen telling about Indonesian history during Dutch colonization is really something. Of course I will not miss it.

The comic consists of two stories that happened in Java and Celebes (Sulawesi) back then in 1946 at the time Dutch intended to return to Indonesia after Japan left. The central character here is a Dutch man, John Knevel. He was a volunteer who accidentally killed his friend on the ship to Java. This murder haunted him for the rest of his life.   

This comic is quite interesting. The author had a very detailed sketch for every scene in the book that showing a deep research over the work. No wonder it took six years for the author to finish this book. Some parts of the comic remind me of  Tintin comic and the author also admitted that he's inspired by Herge.

Excellent in drawing but a bit complicated in delivering the story. The story was complex with lots of plots and new characters to remember. We must concentrate fully if we want to understand the story otherwise we will be lost and at last realize that we only enjoy the drawing.

All in all it's an awesome work. I salute the author for the research and the introduction of Indonesian struggle to be an independent country.