Friday, December 16, 2016

Speech Bubble Sketchnotes!

Speech Bubble was a month-long exhibition about the local and regional comics scene in the National Library. Featuring the works of local and regional comic artists from decades past till today, it was a celebration of the art form and the place it occupies in our history up till today. Curated by Sonny Liew and Lim Cheng Tju and jointly organized by Potato Productions and the National Library, Speech Bubble brought together generations of cartoonists, some of whom I only just got to know. It was a treat to make the acquaintance of my childhood comic heroes like Colin Goh (Orchard Road, Concrete Jungle), Cheah Sinann (The House of Lim) and Lat, and meet Johnny Lau (Mr. Kiasu) after all these years, and many other friends in the comics community, including a whole new generation of illustrators and comic artists. One of the best parts was when I was showing one of my sketchbooks to some of the artists at the opening when one young man recognized some of my cartoon characters and asked me if they were original works or copied from somewhere. He had seen my very first published comic book - the Fairfield Comic 2 - back in 1995 and recognized the characters from then! He's also a very talented illustrator himself today.

The month-long event also featured a series of talks by illustrators, comic artists, writers, illustrators, and comics historians. I had the honour of giving one talk myself on the different applications of the art of comics and cartoons. At the other talks that I attended, I took notes in my sketchbook. Here are the notes that I took: