Monday, December 2, 2019

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - Artist Alley Booth Highlight on Malaysian Artist Alan Quah

Malaysian artist Alan Quah has been a regular participant of STGCC's Artist Alley for many years, and he will be back again this year in the re-branded Singapore Comic Con, held this weekend at Marina Bay Sands.

A brilliant and versatile artist, Alan has worked with a range of comic book publishers, like Image, Titan, Zenescope, Valiant, Boom! Studios, IDW and yes, even DC Comics! His drawings of comic book characters look dynamic and powerful. They seem as if they might pop out of the page and step into reality any minute!

His artistic skills are also showcased in concept art for Royal Selangor's current line of Marvel and DC figurines.

Here's Red Dot Diva's quickie interview with Alan Quah

Red Dot Diva: Hi Alan! Nice to know that you are coming back to Singapore Comic Con this year! Is there anything different from your artist alley appearance this year, compared to previous years?
Alan Quah: It is always great to be back to Singapore and visiting Singapore Comic Con again. Even more so this year because I am coming with my family, the founders of Scott's Collectibles Alan and Daniel Scott, the people who were instrumental to getting me on mainstream comics and also with my buddy and colleague the talented Kael Ngu. This will be Scott's first year visiting Asia and we hope it will be the beginning of a larger presence with more of our colleagues joining the fun next year. And personally I am looking forward to see all my local friends again.

Red Dot Diva: You have done artwork for several comic book publishers - DC, Image, Titan, Valiant, just to name a few. Is there a particular project that resonates with you in a very special way?
Alan: I like to think that when I accept a project it will one that I am totally invested into and I will give my all to it. That has always been my approach. But if I have to pick one, it has to be my 1st mainstream DC Cover, Tales of the Dark Multiverse, Batman Knightfall. To those who followed my journey, know that I have gone through a lot trying to break in over the past 9 years. I came to STGCC in 2010 as an amateur artist hoping to get a break via the Marvel talent hunt, got shortlisted but eventually rejected multiple times over the course of the following years. Until this year, I got the DC call, thanks to my gaffer, and the 1st gig is a Batman cover. So yeah, that was something special.

Red Dot Diva: Recently, you drew the cover for Valiant's reboot of THE VISITOR, written by Paul Levitz. Did you get to interact with him for this project?
Alan: The funny thing is I only get to interact with him after I have done the cover. So there wasn't much creative exchanges other than me on fanboy mode talking to him on Facebook. But when I knew my cover assignment is a Paul Levitz project, I went crazy with my layouts, they were more detailed than my usual, in case my idol is looking. Haha. And because the layouts were rather "nice", my editor couldn't decide which to choose and I ended up doing 2 covers, Issue 3 and issue 5.

Red Dot Diva: What made you decide on starting Komikaki Studio?
Alan: I founded Komikaki Studio in 2009 and over the years has collaborated with many talented local colour artists until I met Sean who helped me on my published work and also other comic jobs that required coloring. The business started to grow and I convinced Sean to be partner to the brand. We are now working on many projects with Webtoon and all the publishers that I am published with. '

Red Dot Diva: Your partner Sean Lee has been doing most of the colours for your lovely artwork. How is the collaboration usually like between penciller and colourist?
Alan: My creative collaboration with him is very simple, I will provide him notes and references on what I like and the rest I leave it to his creative and vision. But because we have worked together for the past 3 years, he pretty much know what I dislike. Some tricky pages may require a few tweaks but most of the time I try to limit my input and let the color artist do his job.

Red Dot Diva: Being an artist in the comic book industry also includes knowing about the business side of things. Do you have any practical tips for new and upcoming artists about this aspect of being a comic book artist?
Alan: I guess the business side of an artist is really his branding, his Internet presence. I think it is most important to not leave a digital footprint that suggest you are an arse. And making sure whatever that you are committed to you finish it and finish it well. If these are practised, the rest will fall in place.

Red Dot Diva: How do you think your art style have evolved through the years?
Alan: Gosh, it has been a love hate relationship. There were some hits and misses but I am committed to keep learning to better myself and to not allow myself to be too comfortable with a style. I found my style recently but I am still learning new techniques. I am currently dabbling with more colors, who knows maybe you will see me coloring my own covers next year. :)

Red Dot Diva: What was the experience like designing for those gorgeous Marvel/ DC figurines for Royal Selangor? Which is your personal favourite?
Alan: That is one of the best distraction from my published work and I enjoyed it very much, working in 2d but at the same time visualising it in 3d. I learnt so much from working with super sculptor Mufizal Mokhtar and the team from RS over the years. To date we have done more than a dozen and a half statues together and my boss is still offering me more to work on. My favourite pieces is my 1st design of their series, Batman limited edition, followed closely by Thor and this year's recently launched Magneto. These pieces will be showcased at SGCC too.

Red Dot Diva: Do you think there's hope for South-East Asian produced comics in the international arena?
Alan: Of course SEA produced comics will excel in the industry, one just need to have to have the correct focus like the international productions, good story and good art. The finest example I can think of is Sonny Liew, the multiple award winning creator.

Alan Quah is represented by Scotts Collectables, and you can meet him at Artist Alley booth TS36, where he will have very limited quantities of the store variant of TMNT #98 comic available. By the way, this variant cover has already been sold out. Besides TMNT #98, he will also have limited copies of the BATMAN KNIGHTFALL with the variant cover drawn by him. 

Those interested in getting sketches from him should hurry to his booth as well, because Alan has only a few spots available!

This Nightwing cover by Alan Quah is so gorgeous, I can't stop staring at it.

Together with fellow Malaysian artist Kael Ngu, who is represented by Scotts Collectables as well, the two artists might be seen hanging out at Singapore Comics Community's booth at FB1 whenever their schedule permits.



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Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - Q&A With Thai Award-Winning Manga Artist Prema-Ja

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - David Mack Returns, Lineup Includes Jim Mahfood, John Layman, Tik Ka and Koh Hong Teng

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019: More Guests Announced - Sarah Andersen, Fishball, Donny Cates and Yasmine Putri 

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