Saturday, December 27, 2008

Singapore Comics on Xmas Day

The Straits Times ran a bunch of comic strips by local creators in the xmas issue of Life, here's the one i did:

FSc, Troy Chin and Otto Fong also contributed  theirs:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Liquid City Book Launch at KLCC

The book signing at KLCC Malaysia just about wraps up all the promotional shindigs for Liquid City for 2008. It's been lots of fun meeting all the artists involved in the project, but tiring as well; all this PR stuff requires a kind of disassociation i think, a projection of some self other than the one you're used to. Maybe in time the two will coalesce, but maybe not just yet :)

Anyway, the folks from Gilamon were there, including Kaoru who couldn't make it to the Singapore signing, plus Leong Wan Kok. Otto Fong made the trip across the causeway, and Tan Eng Huat and Pekomik's Muhamad Azhar Abdullah showed up to lend their support. Wan Kok brought his laptop along and it had all sorts of amazing works in progress on it... check out his website!

Lat was all PR-ed out  from all the signings he did for his new stamp collection, but he did join us for drinks afterwards, and it was great as always hearing him talk about his experiences :)

Above from left to right: Micheal Chuah, Kaoru, Keith Chong, Chin Sau Lim, Lat, Muhamad Azhar Abdullah, me, Tan Eng Huat and Leong Wan Kok.

an aside: watched "Bolt" in 3D today, the first 3D movie i'd seen since a Jaws sequel ages ago... it was an interesting experience, but after the first half hour I think you start getting used to the effects, and its back to old fashioned storytelling to sustain the show. Maybe Jame Cameron's Avatar will take 3D to its next step though, with the effects somehow becoming intergral to the story, who knows :)

The Half Flat show is in its final week; it'll probably be kinda sad when its time to take all the paintings down :p

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Half Flat Art Show

The Half Flat Art Show is on from Nov 29- Dec 30 at the Black Earth Art Musuem in Singapore. Original Comic Book Art and Robot Paintings on display, together with the works of another 3 illustrators :p

For more event photos, click here:

For a show review:

For Gilamon Studio's report of the Liquid City book launch at Kinokuniya Singapore, goto:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Liquid City Book Launch

The Liquid City comics anthology hit the shelves as of last week (US$29.99, S$42) and the official book launch at Kinokuniya Singapore is on the 29th of November, with another signing in Malaysia on 13th December.

Go here for more info:

and :

Book Launch (Singapore)

29th November 2008 (Saturday)
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store (Takashimaya),

Pre-Event Exhibition of Liquid City
Crossroads from 17th November 2008 (Monday) to
29th November 2008 (Saturday): an exhibition of
some of the artworks from Liquid City.

Book Launch (Malaysia)

14th December 2008 (Sunday)
3.00 p.m.
Kinokuniya Malaysia, KLCC, Mezzanine Floor.

note: errata

-Page 115 and 116 of “Alpha Gorilla” should take place after page 123.

- Shari Chankhamma is wrongly listed as Shari Chankhammer in the contents page.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Malinky Robot vs Zidane

Currently working on editing all the old Malinky Robot stories that are being put together for a collection in French, to be published by the new BAO imprint of Editions Paquet Sàrl.

Its taking longer than expected; the intial idea was to just colour the existing black and white pages (for consistency's sake, since later malinky robot stories were coloured, the black and white look could no longer represent 'reality/normality' as such), but as with a lot of old drawings, you end up wanting to fix things here and  there, so there've been whole pages redrawn...

Not sure how much change there is, but something just didn't look right :p here's a before and after sample:

Anyway... its an exciting project, just hope i can get everything done in time! :p

meanwhile here's one of the oddest most compelling vids i've seen on the tube :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Liquid City Giveaway Draw-A-Robot Contest

The “Liquid City” Comics Anthology launches on November 5th, 2008 and we’re giving away 3 free copies of the book. One winner will also receive a piece of original art!

The Contest: Send us an illustration of a Robot of your own design (no fan art) via

To join and for more information, please goto:

Friday, September 26, 2008


Learnt last night that the DC Minx line got cancelled; there're a whole bunch of blogs speculating about the why and how of it, of which these are a few:

Some of the reports argue that it was a placement issue, the books ending up in the comics/graphic novel section rather than the YA  or manga ones. That was certainly true here in Singapore, and maybe it was an unfortunate result of the hybrid nature of the line.

Personally of course the worry is that, whatever the marketing or placement issues, some of it comes down to the quality of the stories themselves, in this case the art - would Regifters have done better with better drawings? Or if it had been done in a different style?

There've certainly been some who thought that different creators might have fared better - getting more  YA authors involved for example, or having more female creators.

I'm sure though that Shelly must have thought all these things through, and my sense is that any set of decisions would have been criticised at some level - if they had gone with more YA authors, there might have been complaints about not making more use of actual comics creators who understood the craft better; if there were no male creators involved they might have been accused of a sort of reductive reasoning that you could only create comics for your own gender; and I'm pretty sure any name other than 'Minx' would have ended up with problematic connotations at some level or another; and so on and on.

Having said that, I think the debates over the reasons for the demise of the line  is interesting - leastwise in helping everyone figure out what exactly makes Manga and YA  fiction so successful in the first place. How much is down to marketing,  to the quality of the stories, to that ineffable thing that helps a Viz, TMNT or Harry Potter catch fire like its nobody else's  business?

And maybe some of it really is a mystery - how on earth did [insert name of your most-hated movie/singer/band/book/comic] end up making millions whilst [that excellent movie etc you really liked] ended up sinking without a trace? As comics creators i guess all we can really do is try and tell the stories we think are worth telling and hope that the jungle of the marketplace out there somehow thinks they're worth reading too.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Press Release thingy

Press Release info for the Liquid City launch and the "Half Flat" Art show :

The Anthology launch will be at Kinokuniya (Ngee Ann City) 2:00-4:00 PM on November 29 2008, and the "Half Falt" art show opening will be at the Black Earth Art Museum, later that evening at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Liquid City Website, Vertigoed and Other Stuff

Thanks to JF Koh, we've been able to put together a blog and previews site for Liquid City:

The anthology will be launched in November this year, and includes works by creators like FSC, Leong Wan Kok, Gerry Alanguilan, Troy Chin, kenfoo, Lefty, Drewscape and many others. Lat's participation though was particulary exciting, cos i grew up reading his comics, and books like Town Boy and Kampung Boy get better with every reading; you realise how much craft goes under the deceptively simple surface.

We'll be arranging for book signings at Kinokunikya in Singapore and Malaysia, watch... various spaces for updates :p

Speaking of Kino, recently headed there to get some new comics, and saw the Vertigo Encyclopedia; so the first thing i did of course was to see if they had any entry on My Faith in Frankie...and was surprised to find it did in fact get a whole page! :p

Finally me, Hong Teng,  Lun Cheak and Skan will be having a group exhibition of our personal and commericial works at the Black Earth Art Gallery starting November 29, more details once we've firmed up stuff :p

Monday, July 28, 2008

Indie Comics Singapore !

This week saw the release of Troy Chin's "Resident Tourist" comics, from independent publisher Adrian Teo. Available for $10 at Ani-Play at Sunshine Plaza :)  Its definitely an exciting development for the local indie comics scene, go check it out! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flight Vol 5 is out

The  fifth volume of the Kazu Kibuishi edited Flight anthology is out on July 11, and will include a Malinky Robot story called "100,000 Horsepower"

Here's  a Newasrama interview with Kazu  :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Singapore Toys and Comics Convention - Sunday

STCC finally came to a close last night, and I think overall it turned out better then many of us had expected. There were complaints about the size of the exhibition space, crowdedness and teething problems with queue-organization...but I guess its difficult to avoid these things at a first time event. Attendance was probably bout 50-70,000, which is impressive given even San  Diego CC is bout 125,000 a year.

One great thing bout STCC was seeing so many fellow creators together; left to right above are Tan Eng HuatKenny Chua, Rixou, Michael and Julian 'Lefty' of Gilamon, Derrick, and Kai and DCJW from IFS (the name of the girl in blue escapes me :p)

Not to mention the ever ebullient Jerome Hinds , Skan Srisuwan and Zemotion (who had to run off for an assigment in Paris on saturday, so its her sister assistant (?) and Geraldine and fellow Wacom exhibitor in the pic :p).

Left is super helpful Winston Goh from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose has a folder full of excellent Wonder Women sketches by various artists and far right is Gary Erskine, guest artist whose credits include 2000AD and Dan Dare! :)

"3 Guys in a Booth" reunited: me and two of Singapore's most intriguing and talented cartoonists, Troy Chin and Ken Foo.

Us again, and Eddie from Collatarel Damage Studios....

Before you knew it, it was closing time, so it was goodbye to the Booth That Didn't Exist, and a near miss as I almost tossed out a box before noticing neat drawings on it by Danny Yee (L-R: Oliver, Danny, Sue, Atari!) . End-of-convention hour is always kinda sad; maybe its the (re)realisation of the transitory nature of it all. Sub specie aeternum, right? :)

The organisers have already said there'll be another convention next year. They'll probably secure a bigger space. Personally I don't have a lot of reference points for what conventions are like beyond SDCC, so it's hard  to envisage any model to aspire to besides San Deigo, though maybe that's always going to be a touchstone rather than realistic goal.

Aside from attracting more artists, creators and publishers to attend, I guess what STCC might need in the future would be more exclusive launches, maybe a seminar or three, maybe some tie-ins with Mediacrop etc for TV serial or movie launches to add a bit of celebrity razzmatazz :p And maybe some  easy access rest/food/beverage areas! :)

Still all in all it was an excellent start, but now its back to work work work.  But last but not least: students from CHIJ with their first runners-up Lego model and my favourite costume of the day! :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Singapore Toys and Comics Convention - Saturday

It was the first day STCC was open to the public today, and many of us had thought it might turn out to be a sedate affair, so it was a real surprise on arriving in the morning to see the queue that had  built up by bout 11...

Not quite the San Diego Comic Con , but given its a first time affair, the turnout and buzz was pretty impressive, and those of us who had rented booths were left frazzled (in a  good way) by the end of the day by the activity involved - meeting fellow fans and creators, selling merchandise, all that.

There was also was great toys on display, including an excellent Star Wars section that had a whole bunch of storm troopers, the debut of the Clone Wars toys line, and best of all the full old school line up from the 70s and 80s, including two of my faves, Han Solo and Darth Vader in all their limited-articulation glory :) The presence of stores like Basheer Books, offering proper convention discounts, debut showings of the Manga Batman anime and all sorts of competitions also added to the general atmosphere.

One letdown was the absence of Lao Fu Zhi/ Old Master Q artist Joseph Wong Chak, who was unfortunately unable to make it due to 'urgent  personal circumstances'. Generally the number of celeb-level artists present was on the low side, and too few people had risked taking on Artist Alley booths (on unfounded fears as it turned out), but in general it did feel like a small -scale SDCC, with lots of growth potential. A lot of publishers and companies approached apparently want to wait for the second STCC  before committing resources to taking part, and I do hope that the convention gets bigger and better every year :)

As was most the Singapore fraternity was there: from IFS, to ACAS, Ken Foo, Troy Chin, plus some from across the causeway like Gilamon and Gempak; even Tan Eng Huat was wondering around for a bit ...more pics of everyone tomo! :p

For lots more photos go:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chinese People Know Kung Fu

finished version of the painting... thinking of trying it out the UOB painting thing... might not be their cup of tea but what the hey :p *

*as it turned out i totally missed the small window of 6 hours they had for submissions, as i was playing footie instead :p

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Singapore Toy and Comic Convention

Will be at STCC next weekend (27-29 June) at the Artist Alley, along with fellow creators like Troy Chin, Ken Foo, Zemotion and others :)

Its the first comics convention we've had here since the 80s i think, so do come and support the event! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tsuge vs Tatsumi

Drawn and Quarterly in recent years has been releasing hardcover translations of manga by Yoshihiro Tatsumi ("The Pushman and other stories", "Abandon the Old in Tokyo") . Everytime I see a Tatsumi book though I can't help wondering why no one has done the  same for Yoshiharu Tsuge's works.

The stories that I've managed to find by Tsuge ("Screw Style" and "Oba's Electroplate Factory") were amazing, certainly for me much more engaging than the Tatsumi stories I've read. So it's a shame his works are so hard to find in English. The man doesn't even seem to have a proper entry in wikipedia! :-o

Perhaps one day soon. Maybe I should be talking to people to get it off the ground :p

For more on Tsuge:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

more orphan works

New York Times op-ed piece by  Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford:

From the sounds of this, I wasn't far off in my understanding of the problem :p ... as Lessig puts it:

"The solution before Congress, however, is both unfair and unwise. The bill would excuse copyright infringers from significant damages if they can prove that they made a “diligent effort” to find the copyright owner. A “diligent effort” is defined as one that is “reasonable and appropriate,” as determined by a set of “best practices” maintained by the government.

But precisely what must be done by either the “infringer” or the copyright owner seeking to avoid infringement is not specified upfront. The bill instead would have us rely on a class of copyright experts who would advise or be employed by libraries. These experts would encourage copyright infringement by assuring that the costs of infringement are not too great. The bill makes no distinction between old and new works, or between foreign and domestic works. All work, whether old or new, whether created in America or Ukraine, is governed by the same slippery standard."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


eh... my first podcast, with the usual ahh and ummms and non-sequiters :p much thanks to Chris from for putting up with it all :p

Saturday, May 10, 2008

new robot painting

WIP of my first robot painting... since risd i think :p

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008


First saw this on a BBC programme years and years ago; i remembered it as one of those most beautiful pieces of animation i'd ever seen. Re-watching it again  and its absolutely brilliant :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Central Malled

Some work up at Central at Clarke Quay, old paintings and some My Faith in Frankie pages...

Will be having a show with fellow illustrator Hong Teng  sometime in June, more details soon! :p

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Recent work has involved illustration projects that require digital colouring/painting; the content itself has been client-driven and not especially engaging, but they did make me realise the extent to which you could manipulate 'paint' digitally. The upshot is some touching up (finishing up in some cases) of what have been pretty poor scans of actual paintings...

WIPs below:

Orphan Works Law

Still reading about this, but it seems like something to worry about.

Its a bill in congress that seeks to change copyright law which will require all work we have ever done and ever do to be registered (for a fee), otherwise you would lose your copyright, and anyone could use it without paying you a cent.

Current law assumes passive copyright.

To learn more:

and a brad holland interview:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Colouring Idiosyncracies

Some queries from various sources recently about the colouring done on Wonderland and Malinky Robot, so here's a quick walkthrough :p

Programme: Photoshop

First thing is scanning in the pencils at 300dpi, after which i adjust hue/saturation, brightness/contrast until it looks ready...

Image layer is now changed to 'Multiply' so you can see the  layer of colour underneath it. Then its the mechanical process of blocking out the major areas in flat colours, which ends up looking like this:

Next a duplicate layer is made of colours and highlights, tones, shadows etc are worked on in the new colour layer. The layer box looks something like this:

The reason for keeping the old colour layer is so that its easy to select a large area on it using the Magic Wand tool; then you can go back to the new colour layer,  and adjust the hue/saturation - its a quick way of making changes to the palette...

So eventually you end up with something like this (still a work in progress i think! :p)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Malinky Robot Stinky Fish Blues

I've been redrawing and colouring the first Malinky Robot story. I guess I still kinda like the story but the art looks pretty dodgy in retrospect :p  maybe some script changes too, but we'll see :p

hmm those wires aren't quite working, will have to do some work on those...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

malinky robot..."100,000 Horsepower"

.finally finished the short story for the anthology, excerpts below :p