Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Resident Tourists

A smaller number of friends would know that I am quite a fan of drearyweary and their completed webcomic series, especially The Resident Tourist. I should spend a short bit of time talking about them.

The background's apparent enough if you look at their Stories page, but what I really found interesting was that it reflects a quickly developing identity that Singaporeans bear, yet is rarely reflected in Singaporean culture precisely because it is rarely found in Singaporean culture. Mr. Kiasu, Chew On It and the old Student Sketchpad (queer I should call it old since it's the most recent) reflect the more common identities of Singaporeans - the Kiasu/Kiasi/etc, the rather local traditional family, and the muggers of the Singaporean Education System.

The Resident Tourist, instead, deals with the ever-increasing Singaporean diaspora. An identity rarely explored in Singaporean comics because of a more serious treatment required when dealing with this, and also because it is technically less prevalent within Singapore itself (I mean, they would rarely be in Singapore, would they ._.)

And it's interesting because it's something rarely explored in a graphical medium, perhaps something just rarely explored at all. Interesting because it's highly personal yet very close to the hearts of readers outside of Singapore. There's a form of connectedness here that one appreciates.

I think speaking too much on this ends up making this feel very much like a literary review when it shouldn't be - I find that somewhat of a disgrace to works that were made to be appreciated rather than analyzed. But please, do read it. It is honestly a beautiful series.

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