Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Launch at MPH Parkway - Cheeming Boey's "When I Was A Kid 2"

Looking at Cheeming Boey promoting his new book  "When I Was A Kid 2" at the MPH Parkway store on Oct 6th, Red Dot Diva found it difficult to imagine him as a "fat kid" described in his blog and books. For in contrast, the adult Boey standing before her was quite the handsome, lean and muscly specimen.

The Malaysian writer-artist was back in the Red Dot Island that weekend to promote his second book with a series of book signing sessions at the Kinokuniya flagship and JEM stores.

And because the MPH Parkway store had opened its doors only a few days before, Boey was also specially invited to hold his book launch there.  

Red Dot Diva and fellow Glam Bloggers Alliance dudes - Ed and Agent W - decided to drop by and join in the festivities. Besides, the custom Sharpies (in blue and pink) given away free with every book purchase, were just too cool to pass up.

Agent W excited about the free sharpie

Dressed very casually in a simple tee, white cargo shorts and a pair of flip-flops, Boey strolled into the store just before the session was about to begin. Red Dot Diva, Ed and Agent W took the opportunity to have a quick chat with him.

He recognized Ed from a previous encounter. "I remember you from STGCC, you're the guy with the long piece of wood." hehehe. You see, Ed collects doodles and sketches from artists drawn on wood blocks. He also remembered Red Dot Diva from her comments on his Facebook page because she had mentioned that they will be going for the book launch.

Can you imagine Boey as a fat kid?

After a short introduction by the store manager, Boey began his talk by reminiscing about his colourful childhood. As a form of visual aid, he even brought a rather unrecognizable photo of himself as a chubby primary school boy. Some people are simply late bloomers, Red Dot Diva concluded.

There were over 25 people - grown ups as well as young children - gathered around the corner listening in rapt attention as Boey recounted the difficulties he faced in school, particularly in maths class. And as he confessed about the awkward yet funny situations he got himself into, the audience nodded their heads, smiled or chuckled in amusement. Probably because they have been in similar situations themselves when they were younger.

In a wistful and heartfelt segment, Boey also shared about the need to constantly prove himself to his parents when he was growing up. His father was an trophy-winning song bird farmer and, like many typical Asian parents, did not think that being an artist was something worth aspiring for. Even when his first book was published, his parents were doubtful that it would turn out to be a success. That's when Boey urged parents to take note of what they constantly say to their children, because the words (and what they are intended to mean) do embed strongly in a child's psyche.

Then, to lighten things up again, Boey decided to read two funny little chapters from his new book, including one entitled "Three" requested by a boy, who promptly went into fits of laughter when the first sentence was uttered. Boey had a special knack of connecting to the kids, Red Dot Diva noted, and many looked up to him like he was their coolest uncle.

Boey also took some questions from the floor. Red Dot Diva asked what he was going to do next, and he said he was not quite sure yet. He did not want only to be known as "the guy who did the 'When I Was A Kid' book series". It had taken him a long time to get away from being merely known as "the guy who drew those cups". (Check out those gorgeous cup drawings here.) There are definitely more than enough material for a third book, but Boey yearns to embark in something different. Perhaps even a travelogue.

And on that note, the signing session began. All the kids scampered to crowd around him as he took his time, chatting with each of the fans - even the adults. He also did a cute doodle on each and every one's books. Red Dot Diva, Ed and Agent W were almost the last in line as they were not in a hurry.

Here's Boey signing on Red Dot Diva's copy.

When it came to the epic moment for Boey to pose for the RDD Infamous Biceps Photo, he exclaimed, "OMG. I've read about your biceps collection!!"
Red Dot Diva: "Really??!"
Boey: "I think I saw your biceps website somewhere."
Red Dot Diva, grinning: "Yes, I collect Biceps."
Boey: "That's crazy!"

And he gamely flexed his lean toned arms for the photo op. See PROOF below :D

Best of all, later that day, Red Dot Diva's love for bicepstuousness was immortalized in Boey's blog:

From Boey's journal: http://iamboey.com/8071

PS: When you are grabbing a copy of "When I Was A Kid 2", don't miss out on Boey's customized, sturdy yet pretty notebook, which is also an animation flipbook!

This is how it looks:

Isn't that cool?

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