Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Creating a Graphic Novel – Creating the Writer-Artist Relationship

Book Bitse

After a flurry of Lunar New Year activities, the Tiger and I got to join Ben at an event organised by READ! Singapore and the National Library Board. As it features Dave Chua, Xiao Yan, and Koh Hong Teng, SingLit guru Gwee Li Sui talks about the writer-artist relationships in creating a graphic novel.

All afternoon DaveFest!
All afternoon DaveFest!

Before this particular session was a Meet-the-Author session with just Dave and Gwee. As such, Gwee promised that Dave did not have to answer as many questions as the rest of the artists did. We all laughed.

The session started with a chat on Hong Teng’s and Xiao Yan’s journey and processes into their art, with the comparison of Hong Teng’s focus on the detail and Xiao Yan’s preference for organic development rather prominent throughout the entire session. As both remain passionate and active to their work, both of them also sought inspiration through reads, observations, and constant practice.

From left: Koh Hong Teng, Dave Chua, Xiao Yan, Gwee Li Sui
From left: Koh Hong Teng, Dave Chua, Xiao Yan, Gwee Li Sui
Hong Teng showing us his portfolio and explaining his processes
Hong Teng showing us his portfolio and explaining his processes

With regards to their working relationship with Dave, both have said that the working relationship with regards to their graphic novels have been nothing short of rewarding. As his Mentee, I had to agree. However, it was also stated that while Dave was rather “hands-off” in his creative reins with the artists, all panelists agreed that the common goal helped as well.

At the end of it, the panel reiterated one of the most basic things about working in the creative industry – respect for each art form, the process of each artist, and clear communication. Gwee summed up the discussion rather nicely, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves. It was also great to have their publisher, Epigram Books, to come down and show their support and showcase the books as well.

This session with Dave, Xiao Yan, Hong Teng, and Gwee is part of a series of SingLit programmes organised in conjunction with READ! Singapore and the National Library Board. For more information of future activities, click here.

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