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Comics Review - Nov 2016

Comics Review - Nov 2016
S!LENCE Story/Art: Tanky Big Egg Comics One of the best local comics to come out this year, S!LENCE debuted at this year's STGCC and reading it again, it still holds up as a strong story. Created originally as an entry for the Silent Manga Audition, Tanky has done a SF / jungle manga story that will have you at the edge of your seat and still tug the heartstrings. S!LENCE didn't win anything but it gave Tanky the opporunity to create this delightful silent comic, which reminds me of HK's Lai Tat Tat Weng. The same kind of quirkiness and sense of discovery.  Silent comics have been around for a long time. See David Berona's Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels. And for us in Southeast Asia with our myriad of languages, a silent comic actually transcends boundaries and borders. I did a few myself with artists from Indonesia and...
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Comic Reviews - Oct 2016

Comic Reviews - Oct 2016

Ratings out of 5 stars.   The Mighty Skullboy Army Vol 1 Story/Art: Jacob Chabot Dark Horse Books The great thing about visiting cons or festivals is that it gives you a chance to browse through new (or old) works that you have not encountered before. Jacob Chabot, an invited guest of this year’s STGCC, is someone I have not known about. Picked up the first volume of The Mighty Skullboy Army and was surprised to find out it’s been around since 2000. This volume one collects the self-published mini-comics from 2000 to 2006 and was originally published in 2007. This reformatted second edition came out in 2015, which boasts a new cover and over 30 revised story pages. The premise is hilarious. What if your villainous CEO of an evil MNC (Skullboy) needs to go to a primary school because he is, well, too young to be that evil...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 March 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 March 2016






Ratings out of 5 stars. Mainstream comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). Shipment only came in on Thursday this week. Through the Habitrails: Life Before and After My Career in the Cubicles Story/Art: Jeff Nicholson Dover One of the big comic news of last year was that Dover has entered the graphic novels market. What they did was to pick up titles that have gone out of print and reissued them. This has given many lost classics a fresh breathe of life. Through the Habitrails by Jeff Nicholson is one such seminal title. Jeff Nicholson is one of the pioneers of small press comics that no one has heard about. He started self-publishing in the early 1980s, drawing a parody of the Ulraman TV series called Ultra Klutz. He had enough bad experience in the small press that he did Jeff Nicholson’s Small Press Tirade (1989). The anger is...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 March 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 March 2016




Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Zodiac Legacy Vol 2: The Dragon’s Return Story: Stan Lee and Stuart Moore Art: Andie Tong Disney Press At the age of 93, Stan Lee is still going strong. He created the world of The Zodiac Legacy with Stuart Moore and Andie Tong a few years ago and the YA series is going strong. The Dragon’s Return is second book and sees the return of Steven Lee and his friends, recipients of the Zodiac power – each of them chosen to possess the strength and wisdom of one of the Zodiac animals in their fight against the evil Vanguard led by Maxwell. Steven is the Tiger and in this latest volume, he struggles to keep the team together as allies start to mistrust each other. By having Asian characters and background, The Zodiac...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016








Shipment was delayed and only came on Thursday. Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Second Sight #1 Story: David Hine Art: Alberto Ponticelli AfterShock Comics I’ve been looking forward to this new baby by David Hine. The British writer tells one hell of a ghastly story. Check out his cult book, Strange Embrace and his adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs. Second Sight is about Ray Palmer, a psychic who can see bad things happening. He calls it ‘remote viewing’. 20 years ago after his first sighting, he is divorced, his ex-wife had taken out a restraining on him, his daughter is running a blog exposing society’s elites and getting into trouble. For the life of me, I don’t know why he has the same name as the Atom, but Ray looks like the burnt out hippie who...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for The World Is So Big - go buy it from Basheer Books at Bras Basah Complex. Run, don't walk.   Secret Wars #9 Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic Marvel Comics The comic event of 2015. This last issue was much delayed and it came out last week. But I didn’t want to review it until I read the whole series in one sitting to see how well it holds up.  Well, Jonathan Hickman has held up his side of bargain in telling one hell of a Marvel Universe ‘end of the world’ story that started with his Avengers/New Avengers run in 2012. The secret Avengers (The Illuminati) learned that the world is ending. The multiverse is clashing with each other. To save their universe from being destroyed during an Incursion, Black Panther, Namor, Dr Strange,...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016





Shipment was delayed by a day. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel and Vertigo Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Match Point Story: Adrian Teo Art: Ken Foo Self-published The political culture of Singapore is as such that we find it hard to laugh at ourselves, much less making fun of our political leaders which is a no-no since independence. Political cartoonists would satirize other countries' leaders but not our own. That is why the 'I don't give a flying xxxx' attitude of Adrian Teo and Ken Foo is refreshing in this stifling environment. They will make fun of any social situations, from the dating scene (Date King) to the competitive school sports environment in Match Point. This new book by the politically incorrect duo is a mix of high school romance, sports comic and shojo manga. Think Slam Dunk but it's female tennis players in super short...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015










Happy new year. Shipment was late this week, so instead of these being the last comic reviews of the year, they are the first comic reviews for 2016. Clearing the backlog I have to review. Do read more local and regional comics. Doesn't matter if they are from here or overseas. As long as they are good, go read them. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).     Peeping Through Jakarta Story/Art: Haryadhi, Sheila, Mice Octopus Garden It’s Sooooo Indonesian! Story/Art: Mice Octopus Garden Benny and Mice are the most famous cartooning duo in Jakarta whose weekly Sunday strips appeared in Kompas from 2003 to 2010. They have since gone their separate ways but both are still drawing. A few years ago, Benny drew a book about Singapore. Mice continues to draw for Kompas and his strips continue to hold up the savage mirror for all Jakartans to...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015



Merry Xmas. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). I bought my own copy of The Resident Tourist Vol 7, as you should, yeah? After all, it’s only Christmas.   The Resident Tourist Vol 7 Story/Art: Troy Chin Math Paper Press Just in time for Xmas. More than a year in the making, Troy continues to chronicle his life in public, something he has been doing for the past eight years since his return from NYC. He did well in school, went to U. Penn to do business studies, landed up in a dream job with a major record label. But he got depressed, started seeing a psychiatrist who advised him to draw. He returned to Singapore and drew comics. Troy is still unsure of himself, despite winning the Young Artist Award and meeting the president, and representing Singapore with other artists at the...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed by a day but it is a good week for new mainstream comics, a slew of number ones – All-New Wolverine #1, The Goddamned #1 and All-New Hawkeye #1 courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Goddamned: Before the Flood #1 Story: Jason Aaron Art: r.m. Guera Image Comics Jason Aaron has been working hard – Ghost Rider (drawn by Tan Eng Huat), Star Wars, and the new female Thor. All star titles in recent years. Now he reteamed with r.m. Guera, his partner for Vertigo’s Scalped series to do their creator-own take on the Book of Genesis. Or what happened to the folks who left Eden. No more spoilers. Violent and great art by Guera. Has a Moebius feel to it. Go get. (4 stars) All-New Hawkeye #1 Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Ramon Pere z Marvel Comics One wonders if...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Snowpiercer and JJ's Science Adventure.   Snowpiercer Vol 1: The Escape Snowpiercer Vol 2: The Explorers Story: Jacques Lob (Vol 1) and Benjamin Legrand Art: Jean-Marc Rochette Titan Comics The Bong Joon-ho (The Host) directed movie starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton has brought worldwide attention to the original French bande dessinee first published in 1982. After the death of writer, Jacques Lob in 1990, Benjamin Legrand continued the story of Snowpiercer with artist Jean-Marc Rochette in The Explorers (1999) and The Crossing (2000). Last year, Titan Comics put out the translation of all three stories in 2 volumes – The Escape (Vol 1) contain the original graphic novel while The Explorers (Vol 2) contain the remaining two stories. News has just reached us that a fourth Snowpiercer bande dessinee, The Terminus, written by Olivier Bocquet...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015









Ratings out of 5 stars. These comics are courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) – Squirrel Girl #1, Uncanny Avengers #1, Black Magick #1, Lady Mechanika #6.   Black Magick Story: Greg Rucka Art: Nicola Scott Image Comics Greg Rucka is known for his excellent characterization of tough female heroes – Whiteout, Queen and Country, Gotham Central, Wonder Woman, The Question, Batwoman and more recently, Lazarus. Add Rowan Black, the white witch and police detective, to this list. Nicola Scott graced our shores a few years ago when she drew Earth 2. Recently, she did stuff for Alan Moore’s Electricomics and now this. Her style has changed and it suits moody tone of the book. Worth following. (4 stars) Lady Mechanika #6 Story: MM Chen Art: Joe Benitez Benitez Productions Joe Benitez draws like the late Michael Turner and this reminds me very much of a Top Cow comic. In...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for War Stories #13, Mythic #4 and Singapore Subterranean Grapevine Book 9.   Mythic #4 Story: Phil Hester Art: John McCrea Image Comics Released 3 weeks ago, this is still worth hunting down. Phil Hester and John McCrea get back together 10 years after their horror series, The Atheist, for Image Comics. Mythic deals with working class magicians trying to police the mythical world. You know, normal blokes like you and me and working towards our government pension and retirement. (of course, there is no more pension in Singapore, but if you believe in magic…) Imagine BPRD set in Britain and the team knocking back for a pint at the local pub after work, you get an idea of the world of Mythic. John McCrea (Hitman, The Boys) is pretty active recently. Drawing this and also regular...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Island #3, Perfect World Today, Roleplayers #1-3 and Paper Girls #1   Island #3 Story and art: Various Image Comics Another one too good to miss. Even though this came out on 16 September, 3 weeks ago, this is the comic to read now. Just like 8House is the brainchild of Brandon Graham, Island, the new oversized comic magazine (no ads!) published by Image, is conceived by Emma Rios and Graham. Comic magazines are rare these days – the other recent one is Meanwhile published by Soaring Penguin Press. I am really excited by Island’s esoteric stories. It is anything goes. From Kelly Sue DeConnick’s heartfelt essay (with illustrations by Ríos) about her friendship with the late writer and poet Maggie Estep in the first issue to Rios writing and drawing her own story in the...
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Four-Coloured Red Dot

Four-Coloured Red Dot



We have stories to tell. Singaporeans, I mean. Which isn't the same as saying that we have stories about Singapore to tell. Yes, there's a place for stories about growing up in Toa Payoh or kampong life – but we're capable of more than that. On the other end of the spectrum, that doesn’t mean we have to carve out our own Marvel or DC universes either. And while that’s not to say that we can't create our own superheroes, we're still capable of more than that too. So, what exactly are we capable of? Well, you don’t really need me to tell you. People talk a lot about the Singapore comic scene as if it’s some elusive phenomenon, or still in its gestation – but we already have comics out there that we can proudly point to as Singaporean, either because of the creators behind them or their subject...
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Popcon Asia 2015

Popcon Asia 2015


As Singapore gears up for STGCC and the General Elections in September, the region is going abuzz with comic and toy conventions, which gives you an idea of the kind of creatives we have in Southeast Asia and the big money that is generated through pop culture. For some of us, pop matters more than politics. In the month of August itself, two major conventions took place in Jakarta, Indonesia and in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The latter was held Komikon Indieket 2015 at Pasig City while the city of Jakarta played host to Popcon Asia 2015. I had the privilege to attend Popcon Asia 2015, which was a great event for local comics and original IP. Held over three days at the Jakarta Convention Centre, this was my second time to Popcon and it was bigger than ever. Estimates given were that 37,000 attended this 4th edition of Popcon...
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Comic Shops of Yesteryears Part I

Comic Shops of Yesteryears Part I
Myron at Absolute
SCC Members and Ario Anindito at Comics World
Sonny at Absolute Comics
One of the most popular threads on SCC is about the old comic book shops of the 80s and 90s in Singapore. We all have our own memories of Leisurecraft, Comics Mart, Comic Art Gallery, Comics World, The Comic Shop and the uncles and aunties behind the counters – Mrs Wong, Raymond, Uncle Bill, Carol and Ming, and especially this individual by the name of Carlos. Most of us have our own Carlos story. I have mine, which I will share later. The story of the first comic shops in Singapore is similar to the development of comic speciality shops in America with the rise of the direct market as a result of convention organizer and comic dealer Phil Seuling approaching comic publishers in 1972 to purchase their titles directly from them on a non-returnable basis. This was different from the traditional distribution model of selling comics at newsstands and...
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The Comic Collector In Singapore

The Comic Collector In Singapore
Like Superman and Spiderman, the comic collector in Singapore can be elusive. Some of us have wondered who is this person. Does he or she have a secret identity like the superheroes? Even for the bestselling titles, newspaper reports would only give rough estimates based on ballpark figures provided by comic shops or booksellers. A few years ago, I...
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