SINGAPORE – On this month-to-month function, The Sunday Occasions traces up seven hot-off-the-press home-grown books for readers to dive into, with a particular deal with comics this month.
1. Geungsi Vol. 1: Geungsi In The Home
By Sean Lam
Comics/Paperback/296 pages/$19.26/Obtainable right here
Step apart, Twilight. Western vampire lore could also be dominated by the sparkly bloodsuckers of Stephanie Meyer’s romance saga (2005 to 2020), however for Singaporean comedian artist Sean Lam, it’s the jiangshi of Chinese language folklore that reigns immortal.
The reanimated corpse, which hops with outstretched arms and drains its victims of their life power, grew to become standard in Hong Kong comedy horror movies corresponding to Encounters Of The Spooky Form (1980) and Mr Vampire (1985), which Lam grew up watching.
Beforehand primarily based in Los Angeles, he had returned to Singapore for a break on the finish of 2019 and was stranded right here by Covid-19 pandemic border closures. He determined to make use of the time to work on his first native graphic novel.
“I’ve labored with varied publishers and writers via the years, however by no means had an opportunity to do my very own e book till now,” says the 43-year-old, who’s finest recognized for his two-part manga adaptation of Larry Niven’s award-winning science-fiction novel Ringworld (1970).
Lam, who aspired to be a comic book artist from a younger age, left Singapore for Japan to intern at a small comics writer in his 20s. He was later headhunted as an artist by Macmillan Publishing in the US.
In the course of the pandemic, he wrote, illustrated and self-published the primary quantity of Geungsi (jiangshi in Cantonese), a horror manga collection set within the Singapore heartland.
Shaun, an extraordinary salaryman, takes a sneaky picture of a stupendous lady carrying shades on the MRT, solely to find she is a geungsi. Contaminated by her, he’s rescued by Meng, a slayer, and the 2 change into reluctant allies.
Lam’s geungsi are an amalgamation of Western and Chinese language vampire tropes – they drink blood as a substitute of draining vitality and are in a position to transfer round within the daytime.
He plans to develop the collection to different elements of Asia, with geungsi and slayers battling it out in Hong Kong, mainland China and extra.
If all goes properly, he hopes to in the future deliver his Singaporean vampires to US comedian conventions like Comedian-Con Worldwide in San Diego.
“I am hoping to deliver this Asian folklore to the West and introduce it to the readers there,” he says.