I had a lil’ Q&A online with local comicbook artist Benjamin Chee (charsiewspace.com / Facebook) about his comicbook publication LYCHEE QUEEN - which was made available alongside his ALCHEMY OF OIL at the Illustrator’s Markert at the inaugural Illustration Arts Festival, held the weekend just!
And on the strength of the “Life Advice” given above (which is more true that anyone’ll ever admit! :p), I’d recommend you scroll down to read more, including a page-flip video!
TOYSREVIL: How did Lychee Queen come about? Is it in anyway connected to your first comic 'Charsiew Space'?
BENJAMIN CHEE: “’Lychee Queen’ was something I made up when watching a TV show called 'Nirvana In Fire', so that I get to draw Chinese-inspired period setpieces. It also has a little bit of inspiration from Yang Guifei, who famously used imperial couriers just to deliver lychees from the borderlands to the palace. In my story, the Queen tastes lychee for the first time, loves it so much that she would journey to the land where lychees grow. This story happens in the same universe as 'Charsiew Space' (you could catch cameos of the crew in the book) but it's completely standalone!”
(Above-right: Benjamin alongside AK (with “Wizard’s Garden”) at IAF2016)
TOYSREVIL: Does the story of the Lychee Queen stop here? What happens next? And when can folks look forward to more space adventures?
BENJAMIN CHEE: “It does, it's a short story, but what she did had long-lasting effects on the Charsiew Space universe. My other new book 'The Alchemy Of Oil', is set in Squid Station, where half of 'Charsiew Space' happened, check that out too!
TOYSREVIL: Is there anyway folks outside of Singapore could purchase your book(s) online?
BENJAMIN CHEE: “There's no online store at the moment, but you can message me through the Charsiew Space FB page, and I would be glad to arrange for Paypal and mail the books out individually.”TOYSREVIL: Cheers for your time! In closing, please share with us: Who is Benjamin Chee and why "Charsiew Space”?
BENJAMIN CHEE: “Ben is a game artist who likes drawing comics too! 'Charsiew Space' is a very straightforward name he called his first publication, because it is about charsiew, in space, just that you'd have to smuggle them.”