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Review: Just So Happens

10 Aug

Every now and then, I happen to chance upon a book I’ve never heard or took notice of online before while browsing the bookshelves of brick-and-mortar shops. Just So Happens is one such book.

Just So Happens (Hardcover Cover)

It was the cover which caught my attention as I was walking by it. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it but it has a sort of understated elegance that I found very arresting, and the next thing I knew I was already at the counter making my payment for the book. Considering how I do most of my book shopping online nowadays, this should tell you exactly just how eager I was to dig into it.

I guess you could say that I judged this book by its cover and thankfully I was greatly rewarded.

Continue reading

Comic Fiesta 2011 Loot Review Part 1: Artbooks

27 Dec

On the 17th and 18th of December 2011, I made a trip back to Malaysia just for the most epic annual comic festival that I’ve been faithfully attending for the past 9 years: Comic Fiesta. It was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Exhibition Halls 4 and 5, the largest event space it has ever taken up in its 10-year run. Despite some glitches with crowd control on Day 1 which I will not go into, I found myself enjoying this year’s event the most out of all my previous experiences, which I must credit the event organizers and the legendary booth owner tag (which basically allows its bearer easy access into and out of the event halls).

In any case, the purpose of this post is not to review the event itself (even though I would love to), but the marvellous swag that I managed to procure. Year after year of attending Comic Fiesta I realized that many people do not take the time to type up their thoughts on the stuff they’ve bought, which I am partly guilty of myself, so I decided that I would do it all to completion this year, so matter how tedious the task might seem.

In this first part, I will be reviewing the 3 artbooks I purchased: CHAM (the official Comic Fiesta Art Collection), A Splash of Imagination: The Art of Silver Fox, and Hawk.

 

From Left to Right: CHAM, A Splash of Imagination, Hawk

Loot Review Part 1 is a go!

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

4 Aug

Oh yes, it’s a review of the latest movie in the slew of Marvel characters that have hit the silver screen in recent years. I’m not much of a fan of the superhero genre (except for Spawn and Hellboy, but that probably should be discussed in a separate self-indulgent post) but I figured that since it’s based on a comic and screened worldwide, I might as well just run with it.

 


My favourite movie poster for Captain America (Image taken from Marvel.com)

My interest in the Captain America movie was sparked not by the trailer or posters, but by the promise that this would be the last movie that separated me from the epic payoff that Marvel had promised for so long – The Avengers. Still, I must say I was more hyped about the movie after I saw the trailer and got an overseas call from my parents who told me that they’ve just watched Captain America and they liked it. That was when I decided to roll up my sleeves, curb my sleepiness, and go for the Friday midnight screening of this movie.

I was not disappointed.

Captain America: The First Avenger’s story is very much self-contained; it begins with Steve Roger’s origins and his dedication to serve his country in the war and ends with a lead-up to the storyline in The Avengers. Without giving too much away, I’d like to say that I thought all the characters were given sufficient screentime and development, especially the relationship between Rogers and Peggy Carter (Captain America’s love interest). Nothing felt very rushed and I was just buoyed by the story – and this may be a point of contention to some, especially those who walked into the cinema expecting a Jerry Bruckheimer-esque action movie with minimal emotional investment.

 

This is probably the scene where all the ovaries in the cinema exploded simultaneously (Image taken from Wiki Noticia)

As a person who had absolutely no idea on the background of Captain America (and Thor and Iron Man for that matter, before their respective movie franchises), I felt that this was a strong introduction to the character, which bodes well for Marvel. Like many others who are being exposed to the Captain for the first time, I left the cinema feeling an urge to pick up a Captain America comic just to see if the stories in the comics are as good as what was depicted in the movie.

Of course, getting a hunk like Chris Evans to play the title role was a great marketing strategy on Marvel’s part. To Chris Evan’s credit, he plays the character well, even in the emotional bits of the movie, and I’m glad that Marvel ultimately didn’t exploit him (e.g.: make him appear in various stages of undress for no apparent reason) because it would’ve cheapened the whole experience.

To sum it all up: Go watch Captain America even if you have no interest in comics; this might be your gateway drug.

Review: Blogger Boy

21 Jul

How many of you watched Blogger Boy before? Judging by the amount of fanfare generated since Blogger Boy hit Malaysian television screens back in 2008, I doubt many Malaysians know about the existence of this underrated series. Produced by Red Communications for 8TV, the story is focused around Budi (played by Qushairi Razali a.k.a Qi), a middle-aged tuition teacher who’s down on his luck. Imagine getting dumped by the woman you’re about to propose to right after dinner, only a few minutes into the first season’s pilot episode!

 

Budi and Kid, chilling as they always do in their living room (Love the wall!)

All is not dreary in Budi’s life though; he takes solace in drawing comics depicting scenes plucked out from his own weary life, and uploads them onto his blog (Autobio Comic Artists, I’m sure you can relate!). His flatmate, Kid (played by Nas ‘T’ Muammar Zar of KAMI fame), is a heck of a joker and a playboy to boot, the exact opposite of Budi…which is also the reason why they help to keep each other in check.

Most of the time though it’s Budi who gets dragged along in one of Kid’s less-than-brilliant ideas which more often than not end in disaster. Then there’s Nina (played by the oh-so-sexy Julie Woon), Budi’s childhood sweetheart who comes into the picture when their paths cross again, thanks to his now ex-girlfriend-and-datuk’s-wife-to-be who commissioned her as her wedding photographer.

This review’s pretty long, so more behind this cut!

Info Bites!

11 Jul

Heya, it’s been pretty busy (as usual) since my last update here (another long hiatus! *sigh*)! I’ve compiled a few bite-sized chunks of information here into a single post, which I suspect will become a norm in the future (I’ve even created a new category for it in anticipation, haha!).

Without further ado, ta-daaaa~!

What I’ve Been Up To

Having been in Singapore for almost a year now, it’s funny how I only managed to meet up with Zid a few weeks before he left Singapore to return semi-permanently to Malaysia. I thoroughly enjoyed his company in those last few weeks, and the best thing was that he pointed me to a pretty nifty activity held by the Organization of Illustrators Council Singapore (OIC): their monthly Portrait Day held at the Market of Artists and Designers (MAAD) in the RedDot Design Museum.

OIC Singapore’s July 2011 MAAD Portrait Day Poster

For a 10SGD fee, the OIC will provide you a seat in the portrait drawing area, where interested ‘posers’ will sit in the designated chairs for 20 minutes while the artists get busy drawing their portraits. Apart from being good life drawing practise (no matter what art background you come from), you may be able to earn back the participation fee you’ve paid (or more!) as you are strongly encouraged to hang your completed artwork in a browsing area where the ‘posers’ can choose to buy them for 10SGD a piece. Interesting concept, no?

Here’s the Event Photos of the July 2011 OIC Session at MAAD I attended. I’m glad to say I managed to sell a piece of my art, much to my own amusement, as that was the only piece I chose to draw straight from my imagination instead. It’s this piece if you’re interested to know (please don’t laugh!).

It seems that the July session I attended will be the last of its kind being held on Saturday afternoons at the RedDot Design Museum; from now on the OIC intends to have the RedDot sessions on Friday nights, and are trying to find a new location for the Saturday afternoon sessions. Looks like the OIC Portrait Day will be bi-monthly from now on, so keep checking the OIC WordPress Blog for updates on when and where the next sessions will be held!

 

What I’ve Heard

I stumbled onto this piece of information as I was browsing my tumblr page. Many thanks to Eisu for bringing Womanthology to my attention!


The Preview Cover of Womanthology. Looks darn pretty to me!

A little background information on Womanthology: Womanthology is ‘a large scale anthology comic showcasing the works of women in comics’, to be created entirely by 140 women of all experience levels. As you can see from their Kickstarter page I’ve linked above, they’ve already reached their targeted amount, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still contribute since: 1. The more money they get = the more copies they can print and 2. Malaysian artists Aimo and Hanie are part of the project! From the lineup of artists taking part in this, I’ve got a good feeling that the result’s gonna be pretty awesome!

 

Upcoming Events

Dongeng (Fairy Tales) Publicity Poster

Dongeng (Fairy Tales) – A Solo Exhibition by kiDChan
Come mid-July, a solo exhibition by the prolific kiDChan will be held at Saito College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, entitled: ‘Dongeng (Fairy Tales)’. You can visit their Facebook Event Page for more information if you’re interested to go there and have a gander at this wonderful artist’s works (free entry). There are slots where kiDChan herself will be there to do CG demos and such, so do keep an eye out for that. KiDChan does more illustration work than comics, but she still dabbles in comic work now and then. Definitely a trip worth making if you’re in need of artistic inspiration!

STGCC 2011

Singapore Toy Games and Comics Convention 2011 (STGCC 2011)
If you have extra moolah to spare or are super kiasu about being at the major comic events in South East Asia, then make your way across the Causeway to attend STGCC 2011, taking place at Suntec City’s Convention Hall in Singapore on 20th till 21st August. As usual, there’ll be loads of things going on at the event, such as the sale of event exclusive figurines, Guests of Honour appearances (CB Cebulski!), and the artists alley, just to name a few. All the information you may need (online ticket purchasing, event location, event schedule) can be found on the STGCC 2011 Homepage, though I must say that it’s a visual assault when you’re navigating the site.

That’s all for now, stay well, stay safe, and stay CLEAN! Till next time! 😉

Review: Shortcomings

13 Apr

The best thing about being in Singapore, to me at least, is being able to access a solid selection of an ever expanding body of comic books in the National Library. It’s a really great feeling especially when you manage to discover something that you’ve identified on the shelves of Kinokuniya that you would love to read but lack the money or storage space for.

Anyway, I figured that since I have easy access to all these comics I might as well do some reviews of the more noteworthy ones, so here’s the first of (hopefully) many more to come. I’ll probably do some reviews of the comic books I love that I currently have in my possession as well.

Here we have the first candidate of Indiedoodle’s comic review: Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine. I really didn’t give the title much thought until I was done with the book, which is just as well since it was fraught with so many euphemisms that I just lost count.

Note: My reviews will be accompanied with a snapshot or two of selected pages of content just to give a sample of what readers should expect. I figured that that was the way I’d do it since I felt that scans of the book, even for review purposes just didn’t feel right. Also, as my handphone’s screen got screwed up pretty bad lately (sad story really), the pictures I took might be slightly off center with some parts of the page cut off.

Post-Note Disclaimer: This book deals with sexuality, adult relations, and other issues along the same vein, most of which I will touch on in the course of this review, so if you are below 18 or might be offended by such things, please do not continue reading. You have been warned.

Now that that’s out of the way, here we go!

Review: Lat’s Kampung Boy The Musical

29 Mar

Today I finally got to catch Lat’s Kampung Boy The Musical and boy I must say, I thought it was worth every single cent I spent on the ticket! From the elaborate sets to the time-line accurate costumes (approved by my mom who tagged along, and she was born in that era!) and superb acting, it was a visual treat for a casual Lat-lover like me, so I can imagine the elation of the hardcore Lat fans out there who have already attended the musical.

    Lat and his father, portrayed on stage (Image taken from Lat The Musical’s Facebook Fan Page)

Note: I didn’t take any pictures during the performance (as the audience were requested not to do so) so the pictures accompanying this post are from the Lat exhibition around Istana Budaya.

Read the rest of the review

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