September might traditionally be the month for the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention, but now there’s a new comic show in town – Speech Bubble – which promises to celebrate the comic scene in Singapore.
A month-long exhibition at the National Library starting in September, Speech Bubble features some of the Singapore’s comic-book-creating heroes both past and present, ranging from Sonny Liew (one of the curators of the show) to Johnny Lau (Mr Kiasu) to Wee Tian Beng (Celestial Zone) to Colin Goh (I Was A Teenage Sex Slave). On top of a display of original artwork, there’ll be talks, and workshops for those interested to know more about the past, as well as for those who wish to create their own graphic novels.
What: Speech Bubble
Where: The National Library (Basement 1) 100 Victoria St, 188064
When: Sept 2 to 30, 2016
Exhibition opening hours: 10am – 9pm
Price: Free (for both exhibition and talks)
Speech Bubble is organised by Potato Productions, and is curated by Liew and renowned Singapore comics historian Lim Cheng Tju, who hopes that the event “will help pull together the comics community and inform the public of the rich comics history we have here in Singapore”.
The exhibition will showcase a whole range of local comics, even featuring political cartoons from the 1930s. Featured artists also include Nora Abdullah, a pioneering Malay comics creator who published her first comic in 1955 at the age of 15.
Here are just some of the creators whose works you’ll get to see on display:
- Sonny Liew (The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye)
- Wee Tian Beng (The Celestial Zone, Return Of The Condor Heroes)
- Eric Khoo
- Troy Chin (The Resident Tourist, Loti)
- Cheah Sinann (The House Of Lim)
- Koh Hong Teng (Gone Case, Last Train From Tanjong Pagar)
- Morgan Chua (LKY: Political Cartoons, In Memory Of Madam Kwa Geok Choo)
- Colin Goh (Orchard Road: The Restricted Zone, Dim Sum Warriors)
- Otto Fong (Sir Fong’s Adventures In Science)
- Foo Swee Chin (MuZz, Chimney 25)
- Gary Choo (Nova Special, Iron Man Special, various Marvel covers)
- Ken Foo (Date King, Freedom Love Forever)
- Hu Jingxuan (Lament)
- and many more …
As mentioned, the exhibition won’t just be a look back at our history – there will be panels for comic fans of all ages. Topics include Dr Muliyadi Mahamood’s talk on Malay Comics, to a workshop on creating your own superheroes and villains by Adan and Felicia Low-Jimenez (authors of the bestselling Sherlock Sam series) at 3pm on Sep 3, and Eisner-nominated artist Andrew Tan’s advice on How to Draw Comics the Non-Marvel Way at 6.30pm on Sep 9. For those considering a freelance career, there will be a talk by Financial Planning expert Karen Tan on how to manage your finances.
There has always been some among the comics community in Singapore who feel that STGCC doesn’t do enough for the local scene. Whether or not that’s true, Speech Bubble is a welcome addition to our local geek calendar. There’s only a month to catch what is a labour of love for Liew and the community around him, so it’s definitely worth setting time aside in your calendar. And, well, it’s free!