The creative space for comics in Singapore is heating up: Well-loved bookstore and book publishers BooksActually will be launching their own collection of “comics and picture books” (I’m going to go with graphic novels), called The Comic Strip, at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) on Sept 6 to 7.
Arguably the most famous of the lot will be Troy Chin’s The Resident Tourist Vol 6. Originally self-published, Troy Chin’s autobiographical comic book series will have its sixth installment published as part of The Comic Strip. Based off his experience returning to Singapore after an almost decade-long career in the US, the series has continually evolved while exploring facets of life in Singapore that any Singaporean would find (painfully) familiar.
Joining Troy will be new work by Kenfoo – who you might remember from the Date King series done in collaboration with Adrian Teo. Titled A Wonderful Life, Kenfoo’s latest is a “funny comic diary created over a four-year period”. Don’t expect Date King-level shenanigans: The cover alone shows that Kenfoo will be exploring a lot more aspects of life other than just dating – it should be interesting to see what this entails. (I’m also guessing this isn’t going to be for kids.)
The Adventures Of Fatman & Superchub is the story of superheroes who couldn’t care what others think about their body image. Created by Stephanie Raphaela Ho, it’ll be interesting to see if capers of Fatman and Superchubs will be as fun as reading GLA’s Big Bertha. Don’t file this under heavy reading.
Next up, Wayne Ree will have a collection of stories that’s quite novel (please excuse my horrible pun). Featuring art by amazing artists such as Audrey Chan, Paul Hedricks and Andrew Mason, Tales From A Tiny Room features a collection of eleven prose pieces accompanied by art. From gods conversing in a park to a touch of superheroics, it looks like this collection will be exploring anything from the mundane to the magical.
And finally, we have The Unsavoury Alphabet by Gene Whitlock (aka The Danger Gene). A “homage to the noir
stories of the 40s with just a touch of the nihilism of the 70s and the insanity of the 00s all mixed in with some Omaha The Cat Dancer and The Wind In The Willows” (as Gene puts it), this anthropomorphic adventure will tie into a Mike Blood PI series.
BooksActually is also behind the publishing imprint Math Paper Press, and they’re no stranger to genre fiction with anthologies like Fish Eats Lion and novels by Joyce Chng. They also have sterling poetry collections such as Joshua Ip’s Making Love With Scrabble Tiles and Mayo Martin’s Occupational Hazards.
It sounds like quite a strong list of creators to launch an imprint with, but that’s not all – BooksActually is open to expanding their list of titles, and will be holding portfolio reviews over STGCC. The creators will also be at the show at various timings to sign their books, flex their muscles or, well, critique your work if you do bring a portfolio. Full schedule below: