Mr Kiasu and SpongeBob SquarePants team up in new book
New book shows the two have much in common despite different backgrounds
Mr Kiasu and SpongeBob SquarePants have joined forces for a coffee-table book that will be launched at the Singapore Comic Con at Marina Bay Sands this weekend.
Titled When Mr Kiasu Meets SpongeBob SquarePants, it was conceptualised by Nickelodeon and Mr Kiasu creator Johnny Lau to commemorate SpongeBob's 20th anniversary.
The local author, 55, who started watching the animated TV series when it first came out, told The New Paper: "I love watching animation and some of the things I love about SpongeBob is his quirkiness and optimism.
"He is naive but will somehow always get out of any situation he gets into."
In the 64-page full-colour book, Singaporean comic figure Mr Kiasu is swimming in Bikini Bottom when a huge current sweeps everyone's favourite sponge into his ears.
Mr Kiasu and SpongeBob then embark on an adventure together.
Mr Dennis Tan, vice-president of brand and retail marketing in Asia-Pacific of Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products, said: "We wanted to partner an artist to highlight SpongeBob's influence on pop culture through a distinctively Asian lens.
"This partnership juxtaposes SpongeBob with the truly local Mr Kiasu but also shows what they have in common - imagination, humour and a whole lot of heart. That makes this combination compelling for fans."
Lau, who started working on the book in October last year, said he was flattered to be part of the project.
On how his involvement came about, he said: "Dennis, whom I had lost contact with for a decade, was getting a haircut at the barbershop one day when he happened to chance upon my new Mr Kiasu book and he messaged me for a collaboration.
"I thought it was a joke at first, but we met the following week and the rest is history."
Lau, who took about three months to come up with the concept, said that it was not easy to bring Mr Kiasu and SpongeBob together because of their different backgrounds.
"(However), both share the same tenacity to face the world. They will not just take the world lying down. Instead of avoiding what is happening around them, they choose to confront it," he said.
The book and licensed merchandise will be launched exclusively at the Shogakukan Asia and SpongeBob x Mr Kiasu booths at Singapore Comic Con.
Fans can also get their books autographed by Lau, who will have signing sessions on both days.
When Mr Kiasu Meets SpongeBob SquarePants, which costs $18.90, will also be available at leading bookstores from Dec 9. The merchandise - ranging from apparel to home decor items ($4.90 to $24.90) - will be sold at area65 and Toys "R" Us VivoCity.