Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, June 5, 2001


Isle Pages


New releases from Hawaii authors

Reviewed by Burl Burlingame

"Tutu's Da Kine Hawaii:
A Satirical History of Hawaii As Seen
Under the Magnifying Glass,"

by Kuno (Pleiades Publishing, $14.95)

"Kuno" is actually Kurt Shulz, a doctor of alternative medicine and former Warners Bros. and Disney cartoonist, a refugee from war-time Europe who settled on the Big Island to pursue acupuncture theory. While there, he's become enchanted with the plight of the Hawaiian people, particularly the theory that evil white businessmen seized the islands illegally with the not-so-covert help of the United States, and were mean to the noble Queen Liliuokalani.

This volume, handsomely printed in brown ink on yellow pages, is a kind of illustrated history of Hawaii up to that point. One page gives a brief scenario, in pidgin, while the opposite page is illustrated with very Bugs Bunny-looking cartoons. Shulz's command of pidgin is problematic. For example, a drawing of ancient Hawaiians engaging in sports events is captioned, "Dat guy in dere, too much kava las' night, doin' his ting indoors, calls it isometrics, something new, like progress, I guess." The view here is that Hawaiians are perpetual victims. A good cartoon history of the islands has yet to be written. Larry Gonick, are you listening?

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