Comics of Singapore Histories (COSH) Studios

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In January 2016, COSH Studios brought together a collective of comic artists and writers eager to share their stories of Singapore Heritage. “Our heritage shouldn’t just be confined to history lessons and the classroom,” comic historian Lim Cheng Tju says. “These comics are fiction, but they have aspects of local history and places in them. And when readers can relate to these stories, there’s always the chance that they will want to find out more about the hidden corners or undiscovered stories in Singapore.”

Three comics will be launched tomorrow at the Singapore Writers Festival from 8:30PM until 9:30PM at the Arts House: Live through Singapore in the 1910s through five different people in the Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy by Lim Cheng Tju and Benjamin Chee. Listen in to the politics of food and business in the Coalition of the Savoury Spare Parts by Koh Hong Teng and Oh Yong Hwee. Or run into the Bukit Brown Caretaker in a place where many Singaporeans called their Final Resting Place – James Tan will help you with that.

Four more titles will be published by March 2018, featuring writer Dave Chua and artists Don Low and Cheah Sinann as some of the many names to release their books then.

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Eva, Kopi and Matcha 2.0

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For Evangeline Neo aka Evacomics her interest in cultural differences between countries has been a point of fascination in her webcomics. Today we take a peek into the follow-up to her first work, a chuckle-inducing comic about the adventures of Eva and her imaginary pets, Kopi the dog and Matcha the cat.

“During my studies abroad in the United States and Japan, my early brushes with how things are in those countries left such an impression that I eventually recorded them in webcomics. In volume 2.0, readers are also regaled with often hilarious anecdotes of life abroad and comparisons between my home country of Singapore and places such as the United States, Vietnam, Indonesia and, of course, Japan. Some of my earlier works are also included here.”

The book launch and signing are happening on 23 September between 4pm and 5pm at Kinokuniya. Get your grubby little mitts on a copy of Eva’s comics at these outlets.

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I Want To Go Home by Wesley Leon Aroozoo

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Mr. Takamatsu's Wedding Photograph (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu at 77 Bank Memorial Shrine (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr.Takamatsu's View of Onagawa Bay (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu Returns from Diving (Photography by Jon Chan)

Wet Suit Out to Dry (Photography by Jon Chan)

Photography © Jon Chan

Stuck to the window of BooksActually is a poster of “I Want to go home”, a new novel by Wesley Leon Aroozoo.

About four years ago, Wesley read an article in the New York Times about Yasuo Takamatsu, a man who lost his wife to the tsunami that hit Onagawa in 2011. Since that fateful day, he has been diving every week in search for her.

“I felt an urge to meet this amazing man. It took me months to locate and reach out to him. Eventually I had the chance to spend time with this lovely man in Onagawa in the summer of 2015. The novel is named after the last SMS that Yasuo Takamatsu received from his wife who saw the impending tsunami. Since then Mr. Takamatsu hopes to fulfil his wife’s last request. I didn’t want his inspiring story to be an article that came and went. I decided to share this man’s story of loss, recovery and determination to reunite with his wife in a novel.”

I Want To Go Home is a dual-language singular book in Japanese and English published by Math Paper Press. Look out for the book launch late September!

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Spotted! Derek Chua

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Lending us a sneak peek into his books at IAF2017, comic artist Derek Chua tells us he self-publishes and diffuses his work through Irrational Comics.

“It started with Roleplayers, a mini-series centered around a group of tabletop roleplay gamers and their misadventures in life. It is comedic story and intended to be a parody as well as a love letter to the niche hobby of pen and paper roleplaying games.

Followig Roleplayers, I released two more titles:  Socute the Corgi,  an all-ages mini-series about the daily adventures of a cute, brave and fun-loving Corgi dog and Kitsune: Assassin For Hire, an ongoing series set in pre-modern Japan about the exploits of a female assassin who is on a personal mission to kill the Shogun.

Derek has also been working on an online comic anthology called PITCH. Read it here. It’s free!

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Ways of Seeing by Elephnt

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(from the press release)

Originally a project to document and understand the architectural elements that facilitate surveillance and clear sight lines in public housing estates, Ways of Seeing  by Elephnt is a collection of images that attempts to capture the aesthetic of look-out points and sight lines in and around such estates in Singapore.

From colour coded void decks whose pillars seemingly repeat infinitely to the peonies, diamonds, moon gates and circles found in stairwells and life lobbies, the architectural motifs found in public housing blocks in Singapore become our Ways of Seeing.

Elephnt is a photographer interested in urban spaces and mundane and taken for granted everyday objects. He took up mobile photography when he got bored during long training runs for marathons. He later bought a camera and started walking around public housing estates and back alleys in Singapore after reading Peter Benz’s On Marginal Spaces: Artefacts Of The Mundane. His photo projects are often the result of many long walks and his encounters with the constant cycle of urban redevelopment in Singapore.

Ways of Seeing is stocked at Booksactually.

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