NO MATTER how pretty it looks, “you gotta have something to say man!” exclaims comic book creator, Troy Chin.
It’s been 10 years since Chin returned to Singapore, but there are still traces of New York left in Chin — the accent in particular, slips out when he gets excited.
Chin, in the last decade, has become a prominent and vocal member of Singapore’s comic book industry with his multi-part series The Resident Tourist. He has also written a children’s series titled Loti and another satirising his experiences working in New York’s music industry.
As much as he wants to encourage new artists to come into the scene, he says it is essential for them to want to do it for the right reasons. “Don’t do it because you like to draw or because you think its cool — that’s not a compelling reason. You won’t last,” he warns.
Why Do This?
First and foremost, new artists and writers have to find their own purpose, according to Chin. They must figure out why they want to pursue a career in the arts — particularly, what message they want to send with their work. It is then essential to become a good storyteller and convey that purpose to the reader if they are to have any hopes of becoming relevant in Singapore’s burgeoning comic book scene.
The reality checks for beginner comic book artists continues as Chin points out that newcomers often forget that a comic book is more than just great art. In its essence, a comic book is still a story and that, ultimately, remains crucial to its success.
“You can get away with a great story and terrible art. But if you have a shit story, even with really good art, no one is going to be interested in it for the long term.”
Find out more about how to cut it in the local comic book industry in part two of our video interview with Troy Chin below.