Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Comic Face-Off 2016

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“We must always make muscles.”

That is probably a phrase that will stick with me for a relatively long time.

Before I get to why, let me start this post by thanking the Public Library, especially the team behind Read!Fest 2016, Drewscape for driving this programme year after year, and all the participants who came down to draw, observe, and buy originals from us on Comic Face-Off 2016.

Last year, Drewscape, Benjamin Chee, Don Low, and Max Loh organised a session for hobby, professional, and semi-professional artists to create their own comics according to the theme, “Red Rain”. The feedback was so astounding that the team was asked to conduct another session. This time, it was Drew, Ben, Max, and Gary Choo facilitating the afternoon at Bishan Public Library. I was there booth monkey-ing for them, but it also got me this great view:

While the Tiger was dipping into his own bag o' tricks.
While the Tiger was dipping into his own bag o’ tricks.

The session started with Drew, Ben, Gary, and Max giving some tips on how to maximise the 20 minutes they get with each page. After which, the artists got the participants to come up with a noun, an action, a location, and a phrase to contribute to the comic theme of that session.

After voting, the room decided that their comics should include:

SAWING

and

“WE MUST ALWAYS MAKE MORE MUSCLES.”

And then they were off!

Time for the pens and brushes to come out!
Time for the pens and brushes to come out!

While the room was silent, the creative energy was amazing. Last year, we only had pens and inks from both the public library and the artists themselves. This time, Drew decided to add some colour into each comic, using a trick he learnt from another artist – food colouring.

By the time everyone was done, everyone was either immersed in the creation process itself, or laughing at someone else’s well-executed story. Others struck conversations with the artists, while some browsed and bought works by Ben and Max. Overall, the participants enjoyed themselves, with some even asking when the next event will be.

With response like that, I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

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