Singapore 24-Hour Comics Day gets bigger and better!
The challenge seemed straightforward, but it was far from simple – create a 24-page comic in the span of 24 hours. Yet the weekend-long event, which is now in its fifth year, continues to attract more and more participants, both first-timers as well as veterans of previous years. This year, it attracted over 180 participants, with about half of them being students of LASALLE College of the Arts.
Traditionally held on the first weekend of October, this year’s event was open to the public and media on Saturday, 4th October, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Block F of LASALLE. Find out more about how the event went under the cut.
As I later posted on my personal Facebook page, this event was essentially an opportunity to geek out once again. There were so many familiar faces that we met at this year’s Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) that it felt like a geek reunion. Since there were so many participants, it was quite intimidating at first to go from room to room to look for people I recognised.
The first room I entered, I saw Kelvin Chan aka rocketraygun and his daughter, both first time participants! Despite his very established credentials in the local comic book scene, it was nice to see them taking on the 24-Hour challenge and inspiring others around them. Kelvin was often occupied with visitors, including Comics World’s Uncle Bill Teoh, the doyen of the local comic book industry.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any familiar faces in that room. Crossing over to a larger room, I finally saw Stephanie Raphaela Ho, whom I had met at STGCC this year! She’s the creator of The Adventures of Fatman and Superchub, which we absolutely loved and will review here! Soon! We promise! Stephanie kindly directed me to where Wayne Rée and Danger Gene! Whitlock were situated. This dynamic duo were (apparently) seated in the exact same location as last year, holding fort and
tormenti entertaining those around them. Though apparently, they do get work done as well!
Honestly, it was such a thrill to be in their midst. The creative chemistry that this quick-thinking tag team possess is nothing short of superhuman. There was an intense discussion about Mexican luchadores and their Japanese connections which ended in a Street Fighter punchline so hilarious you just had to be there. And all this while working on the storyboard for Page 23 of “The Luchadore in a Top Hat Returns“!
Wayne and Gene had attracted other friends, including Singapore’s Tim Drake incarnate, Kiellne Chie. Kie directed me to another awesome creator, the very talented Audrey Chan, who provided artwork for Wayne’s awesome short story collection, Tales from a Tiny Room. While hanging with Audrey and Kie, I was spotted by yet another familiar face, Samantha Germaine Sim! Samantha is an insanely amazing artist whose spirited personality just exudes from whatever medium she dabbles in. Check out her portfolio!
I also got a chance to speak with Kelly Bender, the Canadian comic book writer whose creator-owned work Starburn we reviewed over a month ago. I think it’s great that Bender, who moved to Singapore earlier this year, is so keen on meeting fellow creators and hopefully looking to collaborate with them down the line. Though it was largely an individual challenge, one could sense the atmosphere of collegiality that permeated the rooms – it’s really not that hard to imagine that down the road, collaborations would take place among these impressive creators.
Back in the room with Wayne and Gene, I was spotted by Caleb Tan, a first-time participant in the challenge. Though I knew him better as his alter ego of Singapore Pro Wrestling’s Dr Gore but it was clear that he brought the same comic sensibilities from the ring to the page. Watching him bring his story, “The Quest of Mos Intrestin“, to life was just all kinds of impressive.
Before I left the event, I knew I had to stop and introduce myself to Benjamin Chee. One of the true veterans of this event, having participated in it each year since its inception, Benjamin even turned last year’s attempt into a fully realised 68 page book entitled Charsiew Space that made its debut at STGCC this year. It was so popular that his entire first printing sold out that weekend and he did a second printing to sell at the event! He also shared with me that it would soon go on sale at Books Kinokuniya and BooksActually, which is really, really awesome. Since I had made the terrible mistake of not picking up a copy of Charsiew Space at STGCC, I quickly rectified it by obtaining my copy from his makeshift booth. Expect a review soon!
Kudos to organisers JF Koh and Chris Shaw for yet another amazing edition of Singapore 24-Hour Comics Day! Here’s to many more.