Part of Singapore’s comic art heritage was tied to Malaya (later Malaysia) through jointly organized media. Though comic books in Chinese had a market, this was not the case with English titles until most recently. A breakthrough was the Mr.Kiasu series (one book annually) developed by interviewee Johnny Lau and friends. The creative team was extremely successful marketing, the always-must-be-number-one character in a variety of merchandise, and in other media formats. The magazine Big O also helped comics immensely. Newspaper comic strips came and went on a regular basis, some, such as those of Colin Goh, Cheah Sinann, Hup (Lee Hup Kheng), and Lee Chew Chee enjoying periods of success. During the past decade, comic books have been helped with government grants to artists, the establishment of an association, new comics publishers, festivals, and training and other supportive events.
Keywords: Mr.Kiasu, Sonny Liew, Big O, “House of Lim,” rental shops