Monday, January 29, 2018

Temporary Halt of Monday webcomics

Dear all, I've decided to pause the Monday comic strips in order to concentrate meeting the deadline of book4 (end April) with US publisher. There is a lot of inking and coloring work and has a lot more details than Book2: Eva Goes Solo and has to be all colored instead of half-half. The final size is also bigger at 7.5"x10". Hopefully I can finish the book by April, otherwise the book will only be published in 2020 in order to match the US release seasons. (OMG!)

I will be posting my WIP (work in progress) on my Instagram stories instead. Patrons on patreon will see more WIP images.

I think you all noticed I have lesser and lesser time for webcomics. Initially I thought it was age catching up and more commission work, but I later realise it's the books, the books are killing me. I not only have to spend 7-10months working on a book without pay, but also the editing and marketing of the book when it's out. Sometimes it involves me doing new graphics to promote the events. When a new book is released, I get invited to many many festivals to give talks, almost all are not paid :( Initially I thought it would be good promotion for my books but the sales were very weak. I also had to buy back stock from my Malaysian publisher to sell to gift shops in Singapore and rent booths and conventions because of the falling ringgit. Sadly my royalty was based on the ringgit selling price that was fixed when the ringgit was stronger (SG$1=RM2 that time in 2014). And because I am getting more books, I need to hire logistics to help me move them, which adds up to the cost. It doesn't help when many local bookstores do not want to stock my books or put them at very discreet locations. (That's why you only see Mr. Lee and political books).

In the end, I realised I spend a lot of time on books, but the returns are comparatively little. As I sink deeper into the selling of books, I continue need to take in commission work to fill the hole and I began to neglect my social media channels and content. Gradually my reach declined and I am so busy with the books that I didn't care anymore (which is bad actually). Also no matter what I do, it seems still not many people buy books and the bookstores continue to not carry them even up to my 3rd book. I want to thank Kinokuniya, which has consistently hosted my book signing and carried ALL my titles.

So book4 will be my last book unless I am paid a good amount to do another one. There is simply too much work involved and I cannot change the market and influence bookstores to carry or feature my work. I am sorry to fans who have expressed liking my books and hope for more but in this country with a small market, high cost of living (hence high retail store commission and expensive postage), it just doesn't make sense to continue. I prefer to go back where I started, just good old colorful webcomics. I think 3 local titles and 1 international title is good enough for my credentials and for fans to hold on for a long time.

Lastly I want to thank all my patreons, past and present, for your support to become my financial cushion as I ventured into this non-profitable painful journey. I will come back after April with colorful webcomics again! See you!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Comics: Disaster in the Air

This comic was done while I was traveling so the line work is a bit crappy... Wondering if I should pause the monday comics for 3 months so I can dedicate working on the 4th book or continue posting such rough comic strips?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Comics: Wonder in the Skies

Sometimes I get the aisle seat and I would wonder when the passengers inside will go toilet...

I will be posting a series of travel-related comic strips inspired from my recent trips! Sorry no colour cos I am still rushing my 4th book!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Comics: Packing clothes for trips

It's always annoying when you have to pack summer, fall and winter clothes for one single trip...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

OMG it is the end of 2017

There is only one word to describe my 2017: TIRED!

There were some unexpected overseas trips (both personal and business) and several invitations to give talks at various festivals because of my new book. I also setup booths at two major conventions (STGCC and AFA) and two small fairs in schools. Because of that, Monday comic strips had been affected and progress of my 4th book slowed down.

Sadly, after 3 years since my first book, revenue from the books remained modest and I now don't find it worth while to continue after my 4th book unless all sales are taken care of by the publisher. Or I just do an ebook version. This means I won't be buying back my own books to sell at conventions and gift shops anymore. Currently I still have a lot leftover at home and won't be restocking after I clear them all. Besides spending several months making the book itself, I found myself trapped in the selling of my books after it's published. Because my royalties are in depreciating ringgit, I figured it was better to buy back my own books to sell in Singapore. I rented booths, asked retail shops for orders, arranged logistics, generated marketing materials, gave many talks and demo, chased and still chasing payments. The books I had to store and carry increased and I had reached my limit...

Despite my effort to push sales, there is still lack of support from local bookstores. Only books about the late Mr. Lee and anything political would be given prime shelf locations. For the rest like mine, they either refuse to order, or order in very small quantities and tuck them into spaces that are either a few inches from the floor or ceiling (true story). You may say you no longer buy books from the bookstores that don't carry my books, but they are still located at convenient locations. Certain bookstores have their own exclusive titles or imprint and it seems that they want to protect their market share by not ordering my books :(

The fortunate thing is I didn't have to depend on book sales to make ends meet. For some strange good luck I had been having consistent commissioned work to draw comics for organizations and companies. I also conducted a short comic drawing course at a primary school. Support from my Patreon had also been rather consistent. Book sales was an added bonus and I cleared the 5-digit loan I took to self publish back in 2014.

Moving ahead in 2018... I am working on my 4th book with a US publisher about traveling to Tokyo. If I can finish by end of April (*gulp), it will be released in Fall 2019. So you would have to bear with me the B&W Monday comic strips till I finish that book. Luckily the royalties will be in USD and would be sold at bookstores worldwide, including Japan and US (YEAH!). Finally I won't need to depend on local bookstores and market. You can catch the work in progress sometimes on my Instagram stories.

You may ask what about ebooks? Well FYI all 3 books have ebook versions now: Kindle, Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, and eSentral. But sales are generally quite pathetic, like only a few are sold in several months. The reality is it only makes good money if your hardcopy is a best seller (like 1,000 copies sold within a week or month). Or you make something with sex and violence, or about cats... ...

I'm not sure what I'll do after I finish 4th book, but definitely not the same as what I have done before.  I'm not going to buy back my books to sell in bulk anymore. Although I'm not in a festive mood to say Happy New Year, but I'll say "THANK GOODNESS EVERYBODY SURVIVED!" May 2018 be better for all of us!

Special thanks to all my patrons at

Monday, December 25, 2017

Comics: Finally over

I'm not sure about other countries, but in Singapore the malls and some radio stations will keep on playing christmas music and carols...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Comics: How yoga help in losing weight

Based on true story, shouldn't have eaten so much before the classes that happen after lunch/dinner.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Comics: I did not know yoga can be dangerous

Happened to me on a Saturday class, which half of the students were pretty advance. I was nearly kicked left and right on the face but I won't really wear a helmet to class... I will continue to practice my dodging skill...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Evacomics at Xiamen International Animation Festival 2017

One of my acquaintance was an organiser for an animation festival in China, so I was invited to represent Singapore for their IP business matching and exhibition.

Evacomics at AFA 2017 (C3AFA)

This year's Anime Festival Asia is quite different because the Creators Hub is tucked away at a corner. In the past, it's located at the back of the hall along with the commercial booths.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Comics: Buying Dreams

Many times we buy things not because we need them but because we imagined what we may become by using it ... (but end up not using it, haha)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Comics: Facebook is greedy

Recently, Facebook updated the algorithm again to further limit our reach to readers. Over the years, many people had complained that they don't see my comics anymore and thought I've stopped! But in fact, I still upload a new comic strip every Monday! But of course, if you subscribed to my blog, you are safe and still updated with the latest comic!

Here I compiled the list of social media channels that I run that you can follow besides the evil Facebook:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ultimate Guide to Copic marker shopping in Tokyo, Japan

Because my previous guide "Where to buy COPIC markers in Tokyo", was an all-time hit with 30,000 page views, I decided to do an updated version for all illustrators who are planning to buy COPIC markers in Tokyo.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Makeover in Kimono at Asakusa as an Oiran

Unlike your typical kimono shoots, Studio Nanairo at Asakusa provides glamorous transformation into maiko or oiran (courtesan) in a studio environment or you can pay extra for street shots!

*Disclaimer: This was a self-funded trip to provide non-bias review of experiences for my blog and/or new comic book. I do not get any money in return for recommendations.

My First cosplay experience at Studio Crown in Akihabara, Tokyo

I'm working on my 4th book now and one of the chapters is about Cosplay in Japan. So I decided to pay for my own trip and packages (special thanks to my fans at Patreon too) to write and draw an unbiased review about each experience. I never cosplayed before so I was enthusiastic about the "Perfect Anime Costume" package, which cost 15,000yen or around US$140.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Comics: Halloween special

For my foreign fans:
ERP means Electronic Road Price, which is a gantry that our government installs to deduct fees for entering certain roads to reduce congestion at certain town areas.

MRT is our subway system, and it breaks down often.
Honestly do you buy those fancy Halloween candies or chocolates for yourself or give away? :P

Monday, October 23, 2017

Comics: Dumb question that everybody asks

Although sometimes the waiter/waitress will recommend their signature dish... Is there anybody out there who had never asked this question before?


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