Showing posts with label book launch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book launch. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

At Kinokuniya: So How Notorious Are "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye"and Its Writer-Artist Sonny Liew?

Red Dot Diva loves it whenever her favourite book store Kinokuniya, holds a comic-related Meet the Author session. The book store has always been very supportive of overseas and local creators as well as artists of graphic novels. 

Last Saturday (30 May), the main store at Ngee Ann City, hosted the official book launch of Eisner-nominated artist Sonny Liew's latest graphic novel, "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye", published by local company Epigram Books.

"The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is written (or rather written and drawn) as a biography of sorts. It documents the life of "the greatest Singapore artist of all time", Charlie Chan, from the age of 10 when he discovered his love for Osamu Tezuka's mangas, in addition to an account of his own life's journey as a Red Dot Island native and a struggling comic artist. Strung alongside Charlie's personal narrative are the historical and political aspects of Red Dot Island and her own unique stories.

Red Dot Diva remembers gathering a few preview booklets released by Epigram when she attended STGCC 2012 a few years ago. Amongst the booklets was one of "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye". Already then, the preview had sparked a fair bit of interest amongst local geeks and geek bloggers, but alas, the book took a very long time in the making.

"The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" was originally funded by National Arts Council (NAC) for a sum of SGD 8,000. However, this was withdrawn a day before the book's official launch, in a move that Red Dot Diva hardly considered as fair. The de-funding was reported in the local newspapers and social media, including some overseas blogs, with NAC stating that the book contained "sensitive content". (What this "sensitive content" consists of had not been specified by NAC at that time, although Sonny Liew and locals can definitely hazard a good guess what these points were.) NAC later clarified their reasons for their action (see TODAY's original article in this link) and said that the book carried themes which “undermines the authority or legitimacy” of the Government, and hence the funding guidelines.

In their decision to withdraw the funding, NAC had renewed questions on whether funding for homegrown creative efforts should be made more separate from political inclinations in order for the arts scene to grow and thrive. As expected, what do Red Dot Islanders do when the gahmen marks something as "not approved"? Buy the book of course!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Spooky Q&A With Dave Chua - Writer of "The Girl Under The Bed"

Local readers may already be familiar with Dave Chua's award-winning novella "Gone Case" which was adapted into two graphic novels recently. The graphic novels - which depicted a boy's coming of age story in the very heartlands of the  HDB landscape - were a collaboration with artist Koh Hong Teng.

Both books were well-received by local readers mainly because it spoke right to the heart of the true-blue Red Dot Islander. Even more so when the books were visualized by Hong Teng, whose amazing artwork were so detailed and vivid.

This time round, in Epigram's graphic novel "The Girl Under The Bed" (with young artist Xiao Yan), Dave Chua turns to another favourite genre of his - horror. Despite being set during the Hungry Ghost Festival or "7th month" (in Hokkien), the story is also another realistic, coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl.

Red Dot Diva lays out some glittery offerings so that Dave will reveal what lies behind the spooky tale.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Young Readers Gather at the "Sherlock Sam" Book Series Launch At Kinokuniya

Even as a grown adult, Red Dot Diva found local "Sherlock Sam" children's book series (published by Epigram) a smart, funny and invigorating read.

All thanks to its creative team - the husband (Adan Jimenez) and wife (Felicia Low-Jimenez) writing duo who call themselves A.J. Low and local-based illustrator, drewscape (Andrew Tan). The three of them seem to have a quirky blend of synergy which resulted in the light-hearted and entertaining book series.

(Click here to check out out Red Dot Diva's review on the first book "Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong".)

The "Sherlock Sam" official launch held at the Kinokuniya flagship store's Crossroads area last month on March 16th was no less fun!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A.J. Low - the Writers of "Sherlock Sam" - on Food, Books and Mysteries

A locally published children's illustrated detective fiction book series has captured the hearts and imagination of many young readers recently.

The adventures of precocious 10-year-old "Sherlock Sam" and his trusty sidekick robot, Watson, were penned by "A.J. Low". 

Instead of just one person, the moniker "A.J. Low" belongs to two personalities - an adorable husband and wife team whose real names are Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low. Both USA-born Adan and homegirl Felicia have quite a few years of experience working in bookstores, and "Sherlock Sam" is one of the creative results of their shared love for books and geek-pop-culture. 

Together with illustrator drewscape and homegrown publisher Epigram Books, the team has made "Sherlock Sam" a jaunty, often tongue-in-cheek tale of mystery-solving - Singapore-style.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

These Are Asian Werewolves, Lah!

Last Thursday night, a small cozy bunch of readers gathered at an East-side neighbourhood restaurant called The Garden Slug to give support to local writer J Damask's (@jolantru) digital book launch. The urban fantasy book is titled "Wolf At The Door" and published by Lyrical Press.

The Garden Slug was a snug little restaurant in a rather secluded location, so Red Dot Diva was quite surprised to see that there was already a rather busy group of diners on a mid-week.

It was definitely very nice to meet J Damask for the first time that night. Damask was really excited about the book's launch and admitted that she was nervous and happy at the same time.

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