New comic series based on growing up in Singapore in the 1980s
Could an innocent act of licking a rusty handrail to find out its taste inspire a comic series?
It did for veteran artist Kelvin Chan.
Mr Chan, 49, said their childhood memories served as the inspiration behind the comic series.
While they were working at Sweet, Singapore Press Holdings' creative and content marketing unit, they would find themselves sharing childhood stories with their younger colleagues, who found their tales "ridiculous", said Mrs Lewis, and would often joke about making a book on their growing-up years.
Rusty Rail By Ah Chan follows the crazy adventures and daily antics of 12-year-old BoyBoy, set in Singapore in the 1980s.
"Rusty Rail has been sitting around for 10 years. Before I get too old to do stuff, why not do it now?" said Mr Chan, who is also a former infographics journalist with The New Paper.
"We are excited to finally walk the talk, after years of bad jokes and months of wild ideas."
Mrs Lewis, 42, added: "On a more serious note, we noticed a gap in the local comic scene and the scattered documentation of life in the 80s and 90s."
They hope to make the series into a repository of memories from Singaporeans of that era.
Mrs Lewis, a former sub-editor at TNP, said: "I have always thought it would be brilliant if we could collate all the nostalgic memories our generation has of our childhood, which was pretty much caught up in Singapore's rapid transition."
Starting today, a comic strip will be uploaded on the RustyRailSG Facebook and Instagram page every Monday morning, except for Aug 10. The strip will be released on National Day itself.
Members of the public will be invited on a later date to share what it was like to grow up in Singapore in the 80s and 90s. The stories will then be included in a print publication, and the story of the month will be turned into a comic strip in the issue.
Said Mrs Lewis: "With the pandemic beating on the world mercilessly, we all can do with a little pick-me-up."