Con Man

Singapore Comic Con 2022, the convention’s live and in-person return, started with a hug – and ended with one too.

That first hug was courtesy of Zu Orzu. After three years, I finally caught up with Zu on the morning of the con’s first day, and it was a wonderful reminder of how sweet and supportive she is. Also, she makes seriously awesome art, because clearly, being a really good person just wasn’t enough for her.

The rest of that day was dedicated to meeting the other invited creators – all of whom were incredibly friendly, from the lovely and brilliant Mitch Gerards to the legendary Glenn Fabry. Which brings me to the creators’ dinner that was held later that evening.

Paul – my long-suffering friend, former childhood neighbour and one of the organisers of SGCC – invited me to this dinner with some of the guests. It was a relaxed, sit-down session where everyone could unwind after a long day. Glenn and his wife joined our table and, as the night went on, we started chatting more and more.

From comparing our terrible David Bowie impersonations to him sharing stories about friends like Simon Bisley and Liam Sharp, from him recommending that I check out Don Lawrence’s Storm to us bonding over a love of Richard Corben – it would’ve felt so damn surreal that I was chatting with a man whose work has been a part of my life in some form or another for nearly thirty years, if he wasn’t also the sweetest and funniest guy.

Photo by Red Dot Diva

Day two kicked off with me moderating a session with James Tynion IV. James spoke about writing in general and his work specifically – the many, many, many comics he’s co-created, as well as his short film, Room Service, with PK Colinet and Elsa Charretier.

We also spoke about what it was like for him to fall in love with comics through The Sandman when he was younger, and what it was like for him to receive an Eisner from Neil Gaiman years later – which, weirdly enough, nearly made me tear up.

I know that I’ve said this about everybody else already, but I can’t help it if it’s true for James too: he’s such a great guy, and maybe it’s his genuine positivity that made his experiences all the more beautiful to me.

Up next, Ben, Charlene and myself had a panel for Work-Life Balance – a relatively quiet one, which was fine by us, especially considering how wild Singapore Writers Festival was. After that, I swung by James’ table to get his autograph for a whole stack of books, as well as to give him copies of Work-Life Balance and Worlds Apart.

By around four, I was ready to call it a day – but there was one last thing on my plate: Paul and I needed to take a photo with Glenn. And if you wanted an idea of the type of person Glenn is, just know that he led us in this pose.

It was at this point that I mentioned to Glenn that I was heading off and he jokingly pretended to cry – but still pulled me in for a hug. Which, I think it’s fair to say, was absolutely the best way to bring the convention to a close. Like I said: the sweetest and funniest guy.

More than any other event, SGCC has a special place in my heart. I’ve been attending it long before I was a published author. I launched my first book here. And now, it’s the final event of my utterly amazing year.

This is probably gonna be my last post of 2022.

I’ve got two more weeks of agency work before the Christmas break, and then I definitely want to carve out a week of doing as little as possible. Come January though, I’m gonna start putting together that series of interviews I’ve been wanting to do for this blog for a while now.

And, oh yeah, start working on the novel too.

In the meantime though, Happy Holidays to you all. I hope this year has been good to you – and that next year’s even better.

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