CROWDS continued to throng the Popular Mega Bookfair 2016 at the Straits Quay Convention Centre in Penang, over the weekend.
Book lovers and families alike took the opportunity to snap up vast assortments of books, stationery and multimedia products offered at special prices.
Many gathered at the stage area for back-to-back book sharing and signing sessions by best-selling Malaysian comic artists Ernest Ng and Jason Shyang yesterday.
Ng was promoting his latest book, Bro Don’t Like That La, Bro: My Bad Bromance, which pokes fun at the amusing situations people find themselves in, in daily life.
The Kuala Lumpur-based webcomic blogger said one happened after he landed in Penang, when he used a toilet at the airport.
“As I was relieving myself, I heard a voice from the cubicle next to me asking if I needed a taxi,” he quipped.
Sharing another situation with the audience, he recalled the time he was in Bali when a Caucasian vomitted close to his leg as he lined up to buy drinks.
“When I went to the washroom to clean off some of the spatter, the guy followed me in and was again vomitting next to me. He really could vomit,” said a bubbly Ng.
A Malacca native, he recalled that he enjoyed drawing since a young age, even though his parents wanted him to study hard and pursue a proper profession.
“I pretended to study, but behind my book, I was actually drawing away,” he added.
Later in life, he began drawing some of the misadventures he had with friends and posted them online. Eventually, he was approached by a publisher.
My Bad Bromance, which came out this year, is his third book in the series, following earlier ones Here Comes The Bros and Back to School.
The more reflective Shyang was up next to share with the crowd how his book The Potato Couple, which similarly highlighted relatable everyday topics but from a lovers’ standpoint came about.
“I was studying in Kuala Lumpur, and maintaining a long distance relationship with mygirlfriend in Penang. Everyday, I would draw silly things to annoy her,” he reveals.
This developed into a Facebook page titled J&Y Productions several years back, and subsequently a book when a publisher was impressed by the works.
In it are amusing topics like the smelly pillow that most people would have at some point in their life but seldom admit to it, or the problem faced by shorter girls when reaching out the car window to take a parking ticket.
“What do most Malaysians do when they’re out of shampoo? They add water into the bottle, shake well to loosen the bits stuck to the bottom, and continue to use it for another two weeks,” Shyang joked.
One of his more popular comics, which has since gone viral, also made fun of how high-end restaurants use elaborate names to describe dishes, with the humble Nasi Lemak as an example.
Drawing some chuckles, he said a Chinese eatery might name it something fanciful like Dragon and Phoenix Flying in the Ancient Temple.
A fine dining Western one could go further and sell it as Steamed White Rice with Coconut Milk, Seasoned with Special Spicy Red Sauce, Sprinkled with Deep Fried Anchovies, Topped with Hard Boiled Egg and Freshly Sliced Cucumber By The Chef.
“That was actually inspired by an airline’s in-flight menu. I was amazed how they could describe something as simple as Chicken Rice in so many words,” Shyang quipped.
Following their respective sessions, both authors signedcopies of their books for a large number of fans, and also obliged with photo requests.
The Popular Mega Bookfair continues until Dec 4, and is open from 11am to 10pm daily.
Besides great discounts on the majority of books, daily specials and various irresistible offers, there are also many author’ssharing sessions and exciting contests for children lined up.
For more information, visit www.popular.com.my or the official Popular Malaysia Facebook page.