Regular PoP visitors will be aware that for the best part of the 80s, I was a rabid comic book collector. To such an extent, that from about 1986 to about 1988, the only LPs I purchased were U2’s Joshua Tree and Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love. Of course, I haven’t been a collector for some years now, for various reasons – I will not bore you with the details.
Autobio comics was one particular genre that I found intriguing, where creators would tell stories about THEMSELVES! In the 90s, the likes of Harvey Pekar (American Splendor), Chester Brown (Yummy Fur), Seth (Palookaville), Joe Matt (Peep Show), Dennis Eichhorn (Real Stuff) led the way, to firmly establish this nascent genre.
But… as mentioned before, as far as recent comics was concerned, I was out of the loop. So imagine my surprise, when I casually queried from JF Koh (after the Tatsumi event) about Singapore comics and the name Troy Chin came up. Of course, being clueless, I had no idea. This necessitated a certain amount of online research and it did not take long for me to land on Troy’s website, drearyweary.com.
At Troy’s site, you will find online versions of Troy’s works including his autobio The Resident Tourist, which is as good a place to start. And what’s Troy’s story? In a nutshell, Troy spent about a decade in the USA and has returned to Singapore (and NOT because he misses the food!!!) to reevaluate his life. I’ve only read Part 1 so far, but it is an impressive piece of autobio writing. Troy’s artwork is clean and reminiscent of manga styling – very functional and efficient in typical Singaporean fashion – but this serves him well as he faithfully represents various Singaporean buildings and landscapes. Also significant are Troy’s subtle commentaries on all things Singaporean and his musical references.
Fact is, the comic has been out for a couple of years now so that unfortunately reflects how repressed the Singapore pop cultural environment is. So keep your eye on the Power of Pop as I will try to highlight and promote the worthy S-Comix (yes, just coined that!) creators out there… beginning with a little more about Troy Chin and his works.
… still there’s more…