Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Comic Face-Off

Book Bitse~ My Afternoon as a Booth Monkey ~

Okay, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

When you gather the Tiger and his round robin comicking gang together to run a workshop / session on making comics, someone has to sell the books. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures so use your imagination!

Being booth monkey for the day for Drew's, Ben's, and the Tiger's wares. Photo courtesy of the Tiger.
Being booth monkey for the day for Drew’s, Ben’s, and the Tiger’s wares. Photo courtesy of the Tiger.

Last year, the Comic Face-Off was organised at the Central Lending Library, with Drewscape, Miel, and James Tan. This year, it was at the Programme Zone of the Bishan Public Library, featuring Drewscape, Benjamin Chee, Don Low, and Max Loh (a.k.a. the Tiger).

Part of READ! Fest 2015, this activity decided to move away from the usual panel-like session to a full-on round robin comic creation circle. With four groups of three ready and in position, each of the comic guests took one group each, so that a 4-page comic was produced on every table.

To give a run down on what happens during a round robin comic, it happens when X number of artists get together to produce X number of comics with X number of pages. In this case, four artists with four 4-page comics. The process is cyclical, so it goes like so:

  1. Each artist draws the first page of the comic.
  2. Then the artist passes the page to the 2nd artist.   
  3. The 2nd artist, after reading what the 1st artist has created, continues to the 2nd page of the comic, following the previous artist’s style as much as possible.
  4. And this carries on until the completed comic returns to the artist who started it.

From the back, it was interesting to see the many expressions and the different levels of skill among the artists. The theme of the day was “Red Rain”, so the stories spun out of this theme were both funny and thought-provoking. There was even one story which tried breaking the 4th wall on its concluding page.

While the participants had fun working together to create their table comics, many of them flocked to the booth where I was at as well. It was great to see people browsing the independently-produced wares laid out on the table, with a good many of them buying new comics from Drew, Ben, and the Tiger.

It was heart-warming when participants asked for recommendations and bought based on topic interest and style. And it excited me as much when some of them were excited at the sight of new comics by relatively new names.

Many thanks to the National Library Board, especially Pearly for all her help in pushing comics and genre fiction activities and events. Hopefully, we would be able to come up with more amazing events and spread the genre fiction love around Singapore.

Click on their respective names to find out more about Drew, Benjamin, Don, and Max. For more information on READ! Fest and their activities, click here.  Blanket Fortress Logo


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