Out Of SEA: Getting Comics Into The Global Market


Panel Discussion

Featuring: Edmund Wee, Emma Hayley, Lim Li Kok, Roy Ablah

Moderator: J. Casey Hammond

Comics from Southeast Asia cover a wide, diverse range of cultures, languages and stories. But there are also some common threads that connect them. What are the challenges of getting these comics into the global market, or even within the region itself? What are some of the ways that could make them appealing to an international audience? A panel of publishers give their take.


TranslateSingapore takes a close look at the translation of comics in all its colourful forms – from graphic novels and Japanese manga to European bande dessinée and comics from Southeast Asia. Join award-winning comic artists, translators and publishers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Europe and the US as we explore how this popular medium is used to engage with cross-cultural representations and understanding.

Lim Cheng Tju, an educator who writes about history and popular culture, is the advisor to the “Comics and Translation” programmes. The programmes will be in English.

Comics and Translation Forum Pass

The Forum Pass offers access to all panel discussions; discount to comics translation workshops and film screening. Please present your Pass to gain entry at the events.

See also:

Panel Discussions

Comics Translation Workshops: An Introduction

TranslateSingapore is back for the third year as we celebrate “SG Translation Month”! Click here to find out more about the highlights this year.


EDMUND WEE (Singapore)

Edmund Wee is the founder of Epigram Books that champions Singaporean literature. It publishes mainly fiction, from picture books to graphic novels to literary titles, including the bestselling middle-grade series, The Diary of Amos Lee, the internationally acclaimed graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, and translations of works by winners of Singapore’s Cultural Medallion. He is also the director of LocalBooks.sg, an online bookstore with the most comprehensive selection of Singaporean titles. In 2015, he launched Singapore’s richest literary award, the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, which gives out S$40,000 in prize money to four Singaporean authors every year. In the last six years, Wee has been picked five times for The Straits Times Power List of top arts, entertainment, and lifestyle players. In April 2016, he was Esquire Singapore’s Man of Our Time.


Emma launched SelfMadeHero in 2007, after spotting a gap in the market for high quality graphic novels. Her background in publishing, following a postgraduate diploma in journalism at City University, London, has seen her work as a journalist, a film PR and as an editorial director for several small publishers. Since launching her own company, her focus has shifted to the business and entrepreneurial face of book publishing, while she remains hands-on in commissioning new titles. She was named UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur of the Year, as part of the British Book Industry Awards 2008.

LIM LI KOK (Singapore)

Lim Li Kok is the founder and managing director of Asiapac Books. Established in 1983, Asiapac Books is Singapore's leading publisher of educational comics and illustrated books on a range of subjects covering Asian wisdom and culture. With many titles translated and distributed worldwide, Asiapac Books has established itself as a heritage brand in the global book industry. A veteran of Singapore's book industry, Li Kok has built up decades of experience as a bookseller, distributor and publisher. She has previously served as the chairperson of the National Book Development Council of Singapore and the vice-resident of the Singapore Book Publishers' Association. In 2004, she was conferred the title of “Spirit of Enterprise Award: Honouree”.


Fairul Nizam Ablah, or known as Roy Ablah, is a freelance writer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has been writing scripts for animation, telemovies and drama series since 2005 for Malaysian TV. He worked with the highly-acclaimed Gonzo Studio Japan for an animation called 7 Satria, in collaboration with Funcel Studio. Apart from writing, he is also a comic publisher under the label of Maple Comics with his partner-in-crime, Amir Hafizi. It has 19 titles so far (and counting). His latest venture is Anomalous Films in which he is a partner-producer, and he has just completed a 27-episode drama series Biniku Ninja that was filmed in Europe. He admires the works of Charlie Kaufman, Quentin Tarantino, Park Chan-wook, Brian Azzarello, Paul Pope and Warren Ellis, to name a few.


J. CASEY HAMMOND (Singapore)

J. Casey Hammond began his career as a translator of Chinese business news and eventually became head of research for merchant banks in Taiwan and Indonesia. After nearly a dozen years in the South China Sea region, he returned to the US to earn a PhD in History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. He studies the rapidly growing population of Indonesians in Taiwan, and is currently translating narratives that members of this population have written about their Taiwan experience. His recently published translations are works by Indonesian cartoonists Muhammad “Mice” Misrad, Indonesia 1998 (2017); and Gunawan, The Furniture Salesman Who Became President: The Journey of Jokowi from Small Shop to High Office (2015).

Sat Sep 23, 2017
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM SGT
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