Cosying up with COSH Studio – Graphic Novels about Singapore’s Past

1) Who are the writers and artists in COSH Studio?

Our first two phases of titles see 7 teams – Koh Hong Teng & Oh Yong Hwee (Coalition of the Savory Spare Parts), James Tan (Final Resting Place), Benjamin Chee & Lim Cheng Tju (Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy), Don Low (Kungfu Dough), Cheah Sinann (Terumbu), Joelyn Alexandra & Elvin Ching (Unstable Foundations), and Dave Chua & Max Loh (We’ll Eat When We’re Done).

2) How did COSH come about?

In a meeting room full of comic enthusiasts – artists and writers alike – wanted to come up with a series of comics about local heritage with a twist. More discussions and ideas ensued and the first seven teams of COSH, or Comics of Singapore Heritage, came about.

3) Where can we buy your books?

At the Illustration Arts Festival! Haha. Our books are also available at select POPULAR Bookstores, and Kinokuniya Singapore, do check them out!

4) What titles are you selling at IAF 2018?

All our Phase 1 and 2 titles – Coalition of the Savory Spare Parts, Final Resting Place, Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy, Kungfu Dough, Terumbu, Unstable Foundations, and We’ll Eat When We’re Done.

5) If a comic was a dish, what are the important ingredients that MUST go into it?

Ben: Charsiew!!! *Good* charsiew makes everything better!

CT: Garlic, Chilli padi, and Worchester “Wooster” sauce.

Elvin:

  • – 11oz Fresh Story, separated and “well-texted”
  • – 11oz Visual Skill, peppered with structured thumbnails
  • – 12 tbsp Gusto
  • – 1 grain of Salt
  • – 2 tbsp Dark Soy Humour
  • – 5 gallons Caffeine
  • – Large rolls of 2cm Thick Human Skin
  • Scrutinize the writer carefully and discard unnecessary plot points mercilessly. Separate the social life from the artist and beat gently, picking up speed and strength slowly. Heat a large wok of high heat and scramble the ingredients angily like a religious conservative nut clicking on the “I am Against the Repeal of 377A ” petition”. Add epiphanies as and when they occur and serve.

6) What are some comics you guys enjoy reading?

Ben: ‘East Of West’ – a fantastical sci-fi Western, ‘Sangetsu No Lion’ – a slice-of-life manga bursting with feels, ‘The Ravages Of Time’ – a Machiavellian retelling of the Three Kingdoms tale.

CT: Can I mention music instead? The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell.

Elvin: There are too many genres to list, but the recent ones i have enjoyed are NAJA and Nimona. Anything by Adrian Tomine. I will devour anything by Leinel Yu and Mike Mignola too for the visuals. On the local front, I’m still trying to catch up on their later volumes of The Resident Tourist by Troy Chin.

Jo: Matt Fraction’s “Hawkeye” series, The Chew Series by John Layman and Rob Guillory, Vox Machina: Origins, Dungeon Meshi, Rex Regrets, Robert the Otter, and anything by Max Loh (LOL #plug), Derek Chua, Hwei Lim, and Fishball. I’m working on my local list /ashamed.

7) What are some of the public feedback you have received about your comics?

CT: The public didn’t know about the Sepoy mutiny in Singapore, with many of them initially confusing it with the Sepoy mutiny in India of 1857-58. So they were glad to learn a little more about Singapore history from reading the book.

8) Tell us an interesting, secret fact about one of your writers!

Jo:  I can’t speak for the other writers in the group, but umm… lately when I’m stressed, holding my gaming dice collection in my hands calms me a little. Holding a D20 like how Astrid from Crazy Rich Asians holds that pearl earring in that film calms me a little further. Haha.

Elvin: Ok, this is a not-so-secret fact: Benjamin Chee, the artist for Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy is a brilliant Pixel Artist. And someday when I am a millionaire, though Joelyn will kill me for it, I will commission Benjamin to render the entire Unstable Foundations story into pixel art format. Watch for it! (Put down the knife, Joelyn…)

Jo: I won’t kill you, Elv. I’ll just want… a cut.


Check out COSH Studios at https://www.coshstudios.com/ or at their IAF 2018 art market booth this coming 22nd and 23rd of September at LASALLE College of the Arts.

COSH Studios will also be giving a talk titled “Partners-In-Crime” from 15:30 – 16:30 on Saturday 22nd. Tickets can be purchased here: https://iaf2018cosh.peatix.com/view