A Rare Occurence

29 Feb

The title of this entry would be a suitable label for the frequency of my posts of late, as well as the significance of today’s date, the 29th of February.

I originally intended to try to rush finish up part 2 of the Comic Fiesta Doujinshi Reviews that are long overdue (among other things in my life) just to make it for tonight, but then I didn’t want to compromise the length of the article for a self-imposed deadline so I figured that I should just type up something short and fresh that I’ve been meaning to share with you for a while now.

During the past month and a half (somewhere after the Chinese New Year holidays up till now), I’ve been travelling quite a lot to attend social obligations (willingly, mind you) and somehow I ended up travelling to Batam, an island located in Indonesia. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Singapore (an hour’s ferry ride) which made for a nice weekend getaway for my colleagues and I.

The gist of it was that I had a whale of a time thanks to my happy-go-lucky colleagues, but the highlight of the trip for me was my serendipitous discovery in a bookshop there.

 

The complete set of Indonesian Adolf volumes by Osamu Tezuka

This! I’ve longed to read Adolf since I discovered its existence after reading The Art of Osamu Tezuka but the English editions are quite difficult to find (they were published almost 16 years ago by Viz). What you see above are the Indonesian editions of Adolf, printed by Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia, one of their local publishing houses. It’s been translated into Bahasa Indonesia of course, but I’m still slowly but surely making my way through the books! After all, apart of the meaning of certain words, the sentence structure of Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia are almost similar, so I guess I’m somewhat learning a new language as I’m reading this!

Taking place before World War II, Adolf chronicles the story of three different individuals by the name of Adolf and how differently each of their lives play out. There’s loads of mysteries and rumours entwined into the story, which I am still trying to get my head around (hey, it’s in a somewhat foreign language to me!).

At the bookstore where I purchased these, I was quite surprised to discover the sheer amount of different comics that are being officially translated and published for the Indonesian market. From bandes dessinees (European comics) like Lucky Luke to the latest shoujo or shonen manga (they even had Nurarihyon No Mago) , they have them all! Their editions are fairly thin though, thanks to the brown and thin recycled paper (I think?) that they’re printed on, but don’t let that deter you from grabbing them should you ever chance upon them as the printing quality is extremely good – clear till the last crosshatch. This pretty much justifies the prices of the books though, as they roughly cost about RM15 per copy.

This made me reflect on the quality of comics that are currently being made and translated for the Malaysian market…and it pains me to say this but we still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of quality of content and the maturity of themes presented.

Well, that’s all I have to share with you on this special day that only comes about once every 4 years. I hope that it’s been an enjoyable read though I’m writing this off the cuff while I edit some of the images I’ll be using in part 2 of my Comic Fiesta Doujinshi Review. Trust me, it’s shaping up pretty well and it’ll be done real soon, I promise!

Till then, adieu!

P/S: Here’s to hoping that Vertical will re-release Adolf in English! *fingers crossed*

Info Bites: Spera Volume 1

13 Jan

Hey guys and girls, I know that I probably should be following up with the next part of the Comic Fiesta 2011 Loot Review, but I just couldn’t help but promote Spera Volume 1 after I remembered that it should’ve been out by now – and I was right!

 


Spera Volume 1 Cover (source)

Spera is an on-going story written, created and editted by Josh Tierney, who has enlisted various artists around the world to help make his visions come to life – in the form of graphic novels. As I’ve not read Spera before (yet!), I think it’s only fair that I use the ‘official’ excerpt for the book to give you an idea of the story:

Lono’s life as a princess consisted of sitting, reading, and dreaming—until the day Pira, princess of a neighboring kingdom, arrived with news of a waking nightmare! With the help of Pira’s best friend—a fire spirit in the form of a dog named Yonder—the princesses now find themselves in a race against evil. The goal: Spera, a magical realm of which the princesses had only ever heard the tallest tales. The prize: their very lives!

This book deserves your attention because it contains a comic by one of our very own up-and-coming Malaysian talents, Hwei! If you’ve not heard of her (which is impossible if you’ve been keeping an eye on this blog as I’ve mentioned her work before in my review of Hawk in my Comic Fiesta 2011 Loot), she won 2nd place in the inaugural Morning International Manga Competition (MIMC) back in 2007 with her entry, Vefurrin. And if that’s not enough to make you sit up and take notice, her work was recently (and I mean as recent as 36 hours ago) featured on Comic Book Resources. Plus, come on, it’s not everyday that you can say that somebody you know has their work published alongside Emily Carroll (yes, she’s in Spera too)!

I do intend to sit her down sometime soon and hopefully squeeze an interview out of her but until then, I shall leave you with an interview she had back in 2008 with The Star.

Do get the book if you can from a bookstore close to you, or just order it from Amazon.

It’s 2012!

9 Jan

Hello everyone!

It’s already a week and a few days into the year 2012 and I’ve yet to post anything yet! Inexcusable! Before that, please allow me to wish you a Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping for more quality posts on Indiedoodle (fingers crossed)!

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to the spanking new Indiedoodle header that was updated a few days before the new year. A great big thank you to Ashel for making this very pleasant surprise!

New post coming soon! Till then, doodle on!

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!

Return from Limbo

26 Dec

Hey guys, how’ve you been? My life has been a massive blur since the last update 2 months ago, thanks to my comic drawing escapades for fanzines sold at the recent Comic Fiesta 2011. No worries though, for now that all that is over, I intend to update regularly again, starting with a review of the loot I’ve acquired from the event (with the exception of the books I’ve contributed to because it just feels wrong somehow)!

I hope to do it sometime later today and the review might be split into a few parts, so do keep a lookout for it!

Oh yes, and have yourself a Merry, Merry Christmas in the meantime!

Comics Are Cool! (Like we still need convincing?!)

10 Oct

If you’re already following me on Twitter, then you’d have noticed that I retweeted Zid’s tweet about Earthy 638’s upcoming event called ‘Comics Are Cool! @ Earth 638’.

 


The Comics Are Cool! Event Poster (So Cool! Haha!)

I remember that Earth 638’s shop used to be located in Damansara Jaya’s Atria Shopping Complex, but I guess they must’ve moved since demolition/reconstruction work on the complex began a few months ago. They’re now located at Lot No.31J-2 on the 2nd Floor of Kelana Mall and this event could be an ingenious way for them to draw supporters of the local comic scene to their humble shop once again.

They have a strong lineup of Malaysian artists gracing the event; Gilamon Studios (which comprises of Tan Eng Huat (who is slowly becoming a familiar face at comic events around Southeast Asia), Slaium, Lefty, and Michael Chuah), Alan Quah, Faezal Tan, and the list goes on. It’s going to be a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the who’s who in the Malaysian comics scene!

‘Traditional’ comic shops like Earth 638 are few and far in between in Malaysia nowadays (with the exception of The Mind Shop), so show your support by attending whether you’re a comic aficionado or creator. You probably won’t regret it.

As usual, all the cool things happen when I’m not back in Malaysia, but it’s cool (pun unintended). You can find more information on how to get there and such (like the launch of Malaysia’s 1st Indie Comic Wall) on the Official Comics Are Cool! Facebook Event Page. Viva Comics!

Minor Edit: Changed the Poster image to the latest one to display more information.

Info Bites: Weekend Fillers

23 Sep

Hey all! As usual, long time no update, my apologies! Just wanted to pop by and inform you all about the two events I know that are lined up for this and next weekend.

First off: Fusion of Passion Showcase

 

 

In conjunction with MASIF 2011 (an acronym for ‘Music, Arts, Style, International Festival’), Galeri Petronas is hosting the Fusion of Passion exhibition which features canvas-printed artworks of various Malaysian artists, including those of the graphic novel persuasion. Artworks by some of my favourite local artists such as Zid, kiDChan, Hwei, and Quartz (just to name a few) will be on display there, which is such a pity as I won’t be able to attend this exhibition before it ends!

 

One of Zid‘s artworks on display – ‘The Amazing Race’

This exhibition will come to a close on the 25th of September (this Sunday), so if you’re looking for something to feast your eyes on this weekend perhaps a trip down to Galeri Petronas at KLCC isn’t such a bad idea.

Next up: 24 Hour Comics Day Singapore

 

 

After a pretty long drought since the last 24 Hour Comics Day held in Malaysia back in 2006, our neighbours down South have have picked up the slack since 2010 with their own version of the event…and it will be happening again really soon! The Singapore 24 Hour Comics Day will be held on the 1st of October and sadly, all the places for the on-site drawing area at the Goodman Arts Center have been taken but don’t let that put a damper on your spirit! The Singapore 24 Hour Comics Day is still open for registering home participants, which means you can still take part in this event no matter where you are, from the comfort of your own home!

 


Participants from last year’s Singapore 24 Hour Comics Day (Picture taken from Singapore 24 Hour Comics Day website)

I know what’s the next question running in your mind: What are the benefits of participating from home? Well, for one, registering for this event (even though you say you will be taking part regardless) is the first step in making the commitment to participate 24 Hour Comics Day since from my own experience, you’ll be more likely to give it some serious thought instead of just ‘accidentally’ forgetting about it altogether! You can register to be a home participant here then take a look at the other participants that will be joining you on this journey (My name is somewhere in the home participants list…haha).

They also have a Google Group for this event for participants-to-be to exchange tips and carry out discussions. It seems that there’s some kind of collaboration going on between writers in Indonesia who want to liaise with artists to produce a comic for 24 Hour Comics Day there too, so some of you might want to give that a try!

Also, just a final shoutout to all of you to buy Craig Thompson’s latest book, Habibi, which was just released on the 20th of September to raving reviews. I’ve not gotten my copy yet, a terrible act that I will remedy once I post this entry and head off to enjoy my weekend!

With that, I hope that you’ll have some fun-filled weekends ahead, and till next post (really soon, promise!), I bid you adieu!

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!

Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn Movie Trailer

11 Jul

Because this warrants an entry of its own!

I saw the movie poster a few months back, and finally discovered that the trailer has been released! I’m not sure how you all feel about this but I’m still looking forward to this adaptation even though the CG effects don’t sit well with me! Here’s a link to the movie’s Wikipedia page for those of you who want to read more.

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