Sunday, June 28, 2009


Watched Ngak and Clement at Esplanade last Friday and for their last song, they covered Tears For Fears' Shout. I've said before that one of the great things about covers is that you get to rediscover and be reminded these old gems from the past.

So, Tears For Fears, what a band and what a name. The 80s aren't so bad after all.

This one goes out to Vincent Seow, whom I've not seen in almost 20 years. Everybody wants to rule the world, you and I.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson Mati

...end of an era.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where's the music?

The newly renovated Sembawang Shopping Centre does not have ... a Sembawang Music Centre. That's where it all started for Sembawang Music back in the 1990s. They were one of the first music shops to offer CDs at a much cheaper price. (prices back then were $30-$40 and that's standard retail price for all the shops) SMC imported their own and really brought the price down. Soon the major labels here followed suit.

Sure, they were in super ulu location. (don't think Sembawang MRT Station started yet - the line stopped at Yishun) But they had the selection damn shiok and I made my way there once and bought a Screaming Trees Best of.

Today, they are not doing so well. The state of the music industry. People are not buying music, they are downloading.

So do yourself a favour, go old school. Go buy a CD because I know you haven't for the longest time. In the meantime, remember the shops of yore. Song Ching, Sing Records, Disc Dynamics, Da Da, Supreme. (long live Roxy!)

Heard Valentine Music Centre is still somewhere in Selegie. And Form Records only survived in Malaysia.

And what happen to Jimmy Wee?

Tan Eng Huat

He's coming down so get ready your Doom Patrol, JLA, Batman, Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider and now, Punisher for him to autograph. He's also bringing down some original pages for sale, so save your pennies now! And if you really want to make a wise investment in this economic climate, commission him to do an original piece for you. Value for money too. Screw the stocks and shares.

An early interview with him:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

wat recession?

1. the long queues outside LV at Taka on weekends.

2. 2am: Dessert Bar on weeknights

3. BlackRock

4. all the crap you have been buying this month.

No respect for the self-made man

...especially if you are MIS.

Made in Singapore.

Friday, June 19, 2009

American Jesus

This is really one of the best thing I have read this year. The movie will be directed by Matthew Vaughn, who just made the Nicholas Cage vehicle, Kick-Ass, also based on a Mark Millar comic. (Vaughn was the director of Stardust)

Mark Millar's mainstream stuff can be hit or miss, but this is simply mindblowing.

Roots: Saviour, one of Millar's earliest works from 1989.

So go get the new edition put out by Image or if you are really lucky, try to score the original 2005 collection from Dark Horse.

Can't wait for Pt II.

[reminds me of True Faith, another early story from Garth Ennis from 1990. what's with these brits about faith, talking that long walk and the antichrist? see preacher, just another pilgrim, chronicles of wormwood...]


I'm still interested in lists and sales figures.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Actress and The Bishop

Word has it that Brian Bolland is coming to Singapore.

This would be his second visit to Singapore. The last time he came was in the late 1980s. The Killing Joke just came out and I got it signed.

So you fanboys better stock up on your Bollands for autographs. Top of the list should be The Art of Brian Bolland if you want to impress him. That's a handsome book.

I just picked up the Camelot 3000 hc two, three months back. It has not aged well and even when I finally read it some 20 years ago, I found it choppy. They haven't quite figured out then how to tell and end a story in a 12 issue maxi series. (That's what DC called their limited series then - maxi for anything more than 4 issues and 4 and below, a mini series; Marvel just called series - that was how you tell the diff between the two companies in the mid 80s. They want to make sure you are buying Crisis on Infinite Earths and not Secret Wars)

What was enlightening about the Camelot 3000 hc was Mike W Barr's intro. He said he actually suggested to DC for Bolland to finish drawing all the issues first before soliciting it. DC didn't listen and that led to delays between issues and the series falling off the schedule, which was unheard off in those days. Today, that's the industrial norm. Now I understand that Bolland is slow worker given the details he put into his work. (and maybe why he also draws covers these days; another reason to get The Art of Brian Bolland - collects all the excellent covers from Animal Man in the 80s to Wonder Woman and beyond) The Killing Joke was much delayed when it finally came out in 1988. By that time, Alan Moore had sworn off DC.

Okay, getting back to what you should stock up for Bolland, well, Camelot 3000 is not that bad a series just for the beautiful Bolland art. There's some excellent girl on girl action there which aroused some controversy back in the early 80s. Tame stuff now.

When I was in San Deigo last year, I picked up Camelot 3000 #1 for the heck of it. I should gotten it signed by Mike W. Barr (got him to sign other things instead) if I knew Bolland is coming to Singapore this year.

But, but if you really want to be different, go get Bolland Strips! which I found at Kino yesterday. Stacks of it. I think Kenny is to be blamed for this. We were just talking the other day how difficult it is to go dig out our old issues of A1. (mine are somewhere in my parents' place) The girly stuff. The stories that separate the men from the boys. I've read most of them before but it was fun revisiting The Actress and The Bishop and The Princess and the Frog again after all these years.

Boy, do I feel old.

Think I'll go dig out my definitely-not-mint copy of JLA #200 which has a Batman-Green Arrow - Black Canary sequence drawn by Bolland, probably one of his first works for DC as that predated Camelot 3000.

Or just get him to sign my Killing Joke again. A friend actually got Neil Gaiman to sign on her copy of Sandman a second time when he was in Singapore. The first autograph she got at a signing in London. How fannish.


UPDATE: Just picked up The DC Universe by Brian Bolland (Comic Book Cover Portfolio No 3) from GNB. Beautiful stuff. Go grab.

Monday, June 15, 2009



It's a Lat Lat Lat World...

This just came out at kino.

Lat: The Early Years. Retailing for $63.13.

This reminds me of how I used to send Lat books to comic artists overseas in the 1990s way before First Second put out Kampong Boy and Town Boy for the North American market. Jim Woodring, Larry Gonick, Seth, Collier were some of the ones who really like Lat. They were nice enough to send things back as trades. Others whom I shan't name didn't bother.

I remember sending the McDonald's placemat for Lat's Kampong Burger to Jim Woodring and he wrote back expressing his disappointment. Something pure has given way to commericalism.

In 2002, I went to Toronto for a conference and brought along copies of Town Boy as gifts for friends. Had lunch with Collier, Seth, Joe Matt and Chester Brown. They were thrilled with Town Boy. We visited The Beguiling after that and I gave them a copy too.

A few years later, through the help of John Lent, I helped Ng Suat Tong to contact Lat for Rosetta Vol 1.

Life was simpler then.

Lady Ga Ga

Thanks to Kheng we managed to catch the lady's showcase.

It's a highlight of the month. She is pretty awesome.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Didn't get to talk about this and i ain't much of a blogger anyway. But for archival purposes, here's the write-up from sonny's blog. Maybe he'll write about it with photos.

It was a fun event.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comics World

Can't believe I found this place again after all these years. Bill is still there behind the counter and he recognizes me.

Was talking to Kenny about Comics World and how we can't find it.

So imagine my surprize when I was at Parklane last Sat to attend the metal gig at Gossip Pub at B1 and the shop was just next to it.

Me, Shark, Harold and Victor went in.

Brought back memories.

It's a piece of history, one of the oldest comic shops in Singapore. And Bill can regal you with his own history stories as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm not there...

A lost classic rediscovered thanks to Todd Haynes.

" i don't belong to her
i don't belong to everybody
she's my prize forsaken angel
but she don't care she cries
she's a lone-hearted mystic and she can't carry on

...i was born to love her
but she knows that the kingdom waits so high above her
and i run but i race..."

From Sight & Sound Vol 18 No 1 (Jan 2008):

Q: The film is named after a lesser-known Dylan song from the 'Basement Tapes' sessions. It sums up your take on Dylan, but it seems perverse to start with a song most people won't know.

Todd Haynes: It's from the original 'Basement Tapes' recordings with the Band in 1967 but it was never released as part of the Robbie Robertson-produced album that came out in 1977. There were a few packages of discovery I encountered when I got back into Dylan in 2000, and all the strange and mysterious drunken songs from those recording sessions was one of them... That collection of stuff I'd never heard as a teenager was part of the first blush of obsession that came back at that time.

I discovered 'I'm Not There' probably by reading about it before I even heard it. So when we finally approached Dylan that summer I already had a one-sheet. What resulted in the meeting with his manager Jeff Rosen and his son Jesse was a one-sheet description of what there would be, which was entitled 'I'm Not There: Propositions on a Film Concerning Dylan' and contained a one-line take on each of the essential characters.

How often we read about Dylan first before hearing him.

Counterpoint and reversals. Counterpoint to I'm Not There: Someday Baby ("why was I born to love you?') from Modern Times (2006).

And go back to Simple Twist of Fate (Blood on The Tracks, 1975) and compare it with Born in Time (Under the Red Sky, 1990 or the version found in Tell Tale Signs, 2008).

Hope springs eternal.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kino Bestsellers for May 09