Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year + Monkey King!

Earlier last week I sent out a digital CNY greeting card. Zaobao (our main Chinese newspaper) columnist Lim Fangwei received it and included it in his Zbnow comics page on the 21st Jan (Wed), titled "Anime/comics greeting cards welcome the Year of the Ox".

Why use the Monkey King for the card? In Chinese folklore, the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) is the sworn-brother of The Ox Demon King (Niu Mowang). As economists forecast a gloomy picture of negative economic growth around the world, I hope that everyone can be as resourceful and powerful as the Monkey King in dealing with this new year's challenges.

"Fear Not The Ox!"

Just click on the pictures below for a full-sized ecard and send it as an encouragement to all your friends!

Another reason why I am invoking the Monkey King this year is because I am thinking of publishing a comic anthology of the Monkey King. But I'll talk about that in a later blog post. Instead, I'd like to share with you a most wonderful comic book I just read:

"American Born Chinese" is a comic book by Asian American artist/high school teacher Gene Luen Yang. Yang skillfully weaves the Monkey King story into his personal experience as an Asian American.

I studied in America, so I can appreciate what it feels like to be a minority race: you try so hard to fit in and be accepted into that society, and yet there are many road blocks you must overcome along the way. I won't spoil the powerful message it delivers in the end, but I am just delighted that there are still fresh ideas that spring from such a classic character. To see the Monkey King from Yang's comics is a joy, and an inspiration.

Highly recommended!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Of Exercise Bands and Childhood Heroes

In the January issue of What's Up, Singapore's Newspaper for Students, you can catch Sir Fong and a few bunnies talking about the science of exercising. This is a health ad sponsored by Coca Cola about a kind of exercise band! Yes, only if you exercise correctly, you will get the benefit of health and strong strength!

Special thanks to Grace Tang of Pei Chun Public. She wrote in the paper, "I hope Mr Otto Fong will create more comic books about science to encourage students to love this subject more."

Dear Grace, I am now working on Sir Fong's Adventures In Science Book 2. Thank you for your encouraging words. I will keep it in my heart when I work, so i will do my very best!

In the same issue, you can read about Singapore's history in a comic series by a person whose comic work once made me happy as a kid myself: Morgan Chua.

When I was young, Mr Chua's personal icon (it is a cute little bull, I think) - shown below - accompanied his every comic drawing in the Far Eastern Economic Review. I don't understand politics when I was a kid, but I always loved his little bull making funny remarks.

If you want to learn about Singapore's history in a fun, pictorial way, you can read Mr Morgan Chua's comic book collection of his best works in "My Singapore - sketches by Morgan Chua".

Ask your history teachers to go buy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Back to School!

A Happy Back 2 School to all u anxious kids and parents out there!

Those of you at Telok Kurau has a special treat in store. A little comic booklet drawn by myself that lets you know you're in a very special school, and that you can be sure to have a great learning environment. This primary school has a great tradition to uphold: the great MM Lee Kuan Yew got his start there (you'll see him as a young student in the booklet)!

While I am no longer teaching in school, I am convinced that the key to a great Singapore - a country we can be proud of - lies in a great education system. That is why I will be starting the planning of Sir Fong's Adventures In Science Book 2.

Cover of Sir Fong 2

Cover of Sir Fong 2