Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sold Out: "Fur-o-cious"

Amidst the flurry of promotions and school visits, my distributor called me: "are you reprinting Sir Fong 2: Fur-ocious?"

"Fur-o-cious" is one of two original Sir Fong comics.  Following the success of Sir Fong (first book), another publisher approached me to print a second book. Fur-o-cious was published in 2006.

 I have a lot of fond memories of "Fur" being published: a week after my students read it, the teachers were instructed to remind students that the classroom game called "Tau-pok" was banned. Apparently, my comic had something to do with the fresh outbreak of the game.

"Tau-pok" is a game where students push a victim onto the ground and proceed to pile up on top of him. Adults are concerned that the victim may sustain injuries by having too much body weight on top. I drew it because the game was real, and happened often.
"Fur" was also the book which birthed the idea of using the bunnies to teach Science. I first thought of the idea in 2005, and spent a whole December drawing a short story on the topic of Electricity. After I printed the comic for my classes, students from other classes started to request for them. And a few told me they studied it before the exams because they had trouble understanding the concepts from the textbooks.

At first, I wasn't sure I should include the Electricity portion into "Fur", but I took a risk and it paid off!

Finally, after my nephew first read "Fur-o-cious", his comment was just two words: "it sucks!"

I was very hurt by his comment, and stopped drawing for a year. Also, neither my publisher nor myself had done much to publicise the comic book. For a couple of years, the title did not move many copies. A lot of stock was returned in 2007. Only after I quit my job to focus on my comics fulltime did the title start to gain popularity.

Years later, after I took a Landmark Education course, I decided to ask his mother about his comment.

It turned out that he was upset. In "Fur", I created a character for his sister, but did not create one for him! This little episode taught me to be more confident of what I draw, and reminded me to remain fresh by taking the occasional new approach with each book.
"Fur-o-cious" taught me a lot about creating and publishing comic books. After that, I started the "Adventures In Science" series. "Fur" started gaining popularity by word-of-mouth. By 2009, it became a top ten Most Borrowed book in our national libraries. That showed me that my hard work of promoting the Sir Fong name is starting bear fruits.

So, as some bookstores called my distributor asking for more of "Fur", I made a decision: "retire it for the time being. I need to focus on the Adventures In Science series."

The good news is that it will always be available in the libraries. The good news is that I have another Sir Fong title sold out its print! The good news is that after 2010, I can reprint the two original titles in my own format properly.

For now, you can borrow "Sir Fong 2: Fur-o-cious" at most National Library branches - if they're not borrowed already! Thank you again for reading the book! I look forward to reprinting it after I work on "Adventures In Science Book 3".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sir Fong listed in Straits Times as a "Bestseller for Children"!

Good news! I just found this online! "Sir Fong's Adventures" is now listed as a Bestseller for Children. 

I was busy preparing for a talk at the Arts House, and I'd missed the article. Still, better late than never! Of course, I have all of you to thank for your support. This piece of good news will definitely encourage me to do better for the upcoming Book 3! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Singapore Success Stories + Sneak Preview of Sir Fong's Book 3!

 Here's two pages of the upcoming Sir Fong's Adventures In Science Book 3: CELLS!

From 6 - 9th May at the Arts House, the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) organised the Asian Festival of Children's Content.

Alex Chacko, publisher for Mr Midnight

I gave a short talk about Sir Fong as part of the "Singapore Success Stories" session on Friday.

It's very cool to be in the same session as Alex Chacko, talking about Mr Midnight's success. I sat there transfixed as Mr Chacko spoke with the gravity of someone who's really helped turn the tide. By his success, he inspires all of us to see new possibilities in publishing and writing in Singapore.

It is also very cool to share the space with Emily Lim and Shekinah Lim. Emily won praises and awards for her children's book "Prince Bear and Pauper Bear". Shekinah won MDA's first-time writer's initiative to publish her book "The Watchtower Warrior".

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear                                          The Watchtower Warrior
by Emily Lim                                                                   by Shekinah Lim

Cover of Sir Fong 2

Cover of Sir Fong 2