Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who is the comic collector in Singapore?

Questions for article on ‘Who is the comic collector in Singapore?’

Some of us have always wondered about who is the comic collector in Singapore. Newspaper reports can only give rough estimates based on ballpark figures provided by comic shops or booksellers. This is an attempt to find out who is the comic collector in Singapore. As for myself, I have been reading/collecting comics for the last 35 years.

Please be assured that all information will be kept confidential. All the results will be aggregated. No form of the raw data will be released or read by anyone else.

You can send your answers to or reply me via FB messaging.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Area of residence: (eg. Ang Mo Kio, Jurong, etc.)
Number of years reading comics:
Number of years collecting comics:
How often do you buy comics: (eg. once a week, once a month, everyday!?, etc.)
Buy comics from: (eg. comic shops, Kinokuniya, mail order, etc.)*
Do you go down to a comic shop on shipment day? Which one?
Amount spent on comics per month:
Do you consider yourself a fan of: (eg. DC/Marvel/ Image/Dark Horse/ IDW/ Fantagraphics/etc.)*
How many comics do you own:
What other comics do you read: (eg. manga, HK kung fu comics, comic strips, editorial cartoons, etc.)*
Top 3 favourite comic:
Top 3 favourite characters:
Top 3 comic movie adaptations:
Top 3 most valuable comic in your collection:
Do you sell your comics to other collectors:
What else do you collect: (eg. toys, trading cards, original art, other merchandise, etc.)*
I read comics because:
Do you have good friends who read comics? How many?

* list as many as you want

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Article on Singapore Comics

Here's an article on Singapore comics, hot off the press from Draft by Drama Box.

English version (pp. 37 - 47):

Chinese version (pp. 33 - 43):

A very nicely designed mag, I must say.

Monday, June 16, 2014

D-Day cartoons

The Daily Mirror reprinted their 7 June 1944 edition of the paper and these are the cartoon strips that appeared on that fateful day:

Buck Ryan
Beelzebub Jones
Just Jake…

And a huge editorial cartoon that dominated 3/4 of another page depicting Allied soldiers kicking down the walls of Nazi Germany.

All cartoons were uncredited as per the custom back then.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tiananmen at last!

Epigram Books is bringing out a new edition of Morgan Chua's Tiananmen, the lost classic about the crackdown of the student movement in China in 1989. People don't talk about Tiananmen these days except for the Chimerica play of last year

and this book is almost unheard of. I have been wanting for it to be back in print for some time and it's finally here, the 25th anniversary special edition. I first read it in the national library eons ago. It was the only Morgan book available then in Singapore in the 1990s.,7

Urban legend has it that agents from Beijing swept into HK to buy up all the copies when the original book was released in 1989. This is unconfirmed but the fact remains that the book was sold out almost immediately and has been out of print since then. If there is some truth to this myth, it is no wonder. Because this is Morgan at his satirical prime, before he decided to do cartoons about Mdm Kwa and Mr Nathan. This is Morgan drawing blood and letting it bleed.

IF you do not know who is Morgan,

This is the Morgan we should remember. This is the standard of work we should aspire to. Historical amnesia is a terrible thing, to forget what was possible and achieved in the past. The same goes for Tiananmen and the tank man image. I suspect that's why this Cirque du Soleil production got passed by the Chinese censors in the first place last year. Even the censors had no knowledge of the event and the image.

I told Joe Gordon of FP blog about the book and he has written about it here.

Go get before it disappears again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lesson from Mike Carey

"The question of the narrative voice…in novels, the omniscient narrative voice has long and honorable tradition and is so universal a convention that it's become almost invisible. In comics, it was similarly ubiquitous right up until the eighties, but then there was a strong reaction against it which has made it the exception rather than the norm - and all of this was recent enough that an omniscient narrative voice, unless it's handled very carefully, can make a comic feel dated and awkward. The protective shield of invisibility provided by long ingrained familiarity just isn't there in the way it still is in prose."
-- Mike Carey, Introduction for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere collection (Nov 2006)

I recently attended a class by Carey and he said exactly the same thing. Which means the craft of writing is never far from his mind.

We need more writers like Carey in Singapore who thinks long and hard about the craft. Too many people take writing for granted.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Comic shop strategies

Forbidden Planet and Gosh Comics lie at two ends of the spectrum. You go to FP for everything mainstream, from DC, Marvel to Dr Who novels and merchandise. There is a small selection of alternative and independent comics. But you go there for the range of toys, tikam tikam and comics you can buy. It's fun to shop there, you can literally hang around there for hours. There are always things to browse.

Gosh Comics, on the hand, wear its indie heart on its sleeve. You enter the shop and you feel you are in the zone, surrounded by Robert Crumb, Love and Rockets and British homemade like Self Made Hero, Blank Slate, Nobrow, artists/collectives like Tiny Pencil, Isabel Greenberg and Katie Green. Stepping into Gosh couldn't be anymore different from going into FP. But Gosh has a huge section of mainstream and back issues in the basement level; they just chose to have their front filled with indies and alternatives.

So it's how they decided to position themselves and the shopfront strategies they adopt. Who they want to attract into the shop (mainly tourists for FP and the more hardcore crowd for Gosh) and what they want to promote (exclusive signed bookplates for mainstream or local books) for their identity as a comic shop. Both work as different shops appeal to different folks, and mainstream fans can find their groove in Gosh as well.

Now what we need in Singapore is a shop like Gosh...