Rubbish Famzine #2: Till Death Do Us Part by Holycrap
Available at BooksActually, limited run of 300 copies
The Rubbish Famzine is a bi-annual publication by the prolific holycrap.sg art collective/family. Issue #2, following the inaugural Google Translating Tokyoto, is titled Till Death Do Us Part and is a tribute to their grandparents’ (/parents’) 50th wedding anniversary. That is certainly an occasion worth celebrating and this zine, which is made up of 5 sub issues, should make for an excellent present. Our favourite sub issues are No.2b (Louis of Peculiarities) and No.2c (Junk Hoarder Craft Maker), both of which are dedicated to the quirks and habits of the couple.
It’s a little pricey for a zine, but well, one has to pay for high production values. This one is very well put together and looks really nice.
Goodbye Jennifer by Weng Pixin based on a play by Kelvin Tan
Available at BooksActually
This is the first graphic novel by Weng Pixin, also of Doinky Doodles! Based on a play by Kelvin Tan, the story hinges on a chance encounter between a NS man and a bitter, angsty woman. The play, which was written in 1987, admittedly, shows its age a little but its grouses and sentiments remain relevant. Art by Pixin is excellent (I should really say more about the art, but it’s that, essentially.).
A Certain Exposure by Jolene Tan // synopsis from Epigram Books
Available on the Epigram Books online shop; read a sample here
Satirical and sympathetic, political and personal, A Certain Exposure traces the adolescences of twin brothers Andrew and Brian, culminating in the explosive events leading to Andrew’s tragic death. This is a classic coming-of-age tale doubled across two vividly individual brothers, who struggle to navigate a complex tangle of relationships and coercive forces, cinematically interwoven with the yearnings and fears of an ensemble of mothers, fathers, cousins, friends and lovers both false and true. This wide-ranging debut beautifully presents the resonances and the ghosts of lost possibilities, as well as a gripping story of hope and betrayal.
In spite of my pretty limited exposure to local literature, I shall go out on a limb here and say this ranks as one of my favourite local reads. Given the recent NLB saga, it’s a timely read. This is a story with a gay boy, but more importantly, this is a story with an all-too-depressing reminder of how certain values have stood and are still standing in this nation. It’s a saddening realisation.
And, hey, happy 49th birthday, Singapore. Here’s to growing up.