Local comics nothing to laugh at

Local comics nothing to laugh at

Spandex and superheroes - that's what many expect from a comic book.

Not in the expanding world of local comic books though. Home-grown comic books are more low-key, personal and centred on local people and places.

At least 30 titles have been published here over the past five years - a big jump from a decade ago.

Artist Koh Hong Teng, 44 says: "In 2005, we had only three or four titles by Singapore-based artists on the market. Now there are at least three times as many."

But most artists are still self published.

Mr Koh illustrated the coming-of-age graphic novel Gone Case (written by Dave Chua) which was self-published in 2010 to some acclaim.

Mr Otto Fong, 45, has self-published five of his works.

The former science teacher's Sir Fong series features a group of rabbits who learn scientific concepts, among other things.

He says: "Comics are a wonderful way of learning. They are funny and great for grabbing the attention of young people."

Independent publisher Epigram Books' sales and marketing manager Ilangoh Thanabalan says of the local comic book industry: "This is a niche that has a lot of potential, and can be developed even further, with time and support.

"We also have very talented people who now see the graphic novel as a good way to express themselves."

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