The Secret Life Of A Bestselling Comic Artist

25 Aug 2016 by Chew Hui Ling

We’ve all familiar with popular comic series like Lumberjanes, Adventure Time and Powerpuff Girls, but how much do we actually know about the mastermind behind these cult phenomenons? Meet 28-year-old Brooke Allen, the award-winning comic artist who grew up with a love for monsters and mythical creatures, geeks out at bookstores, and spends her days holed up like a hermit. Via an exclusive phone interview, the self-proclaimed “creature of the night” gave us a peek into her veiled life beyond the pages.

Brooke Allen Lumberjanes

It’s not as glamourous as you’d think.

“It’s a lot of hard work. I spend most of the time at the desk; you can become a hermit very easily (laughs). A page usually takes around six hours to complete, from thumb-nailing it to edging it, depending on how much detail is in the picture. An issue of 42 pages takes around a month to churn out as we have a bigger team working on the books.”

She has a thing for monsters.

“I love monsters. It’s sort of like taking pieces that of an interesting nature and fitting them into a puzzle – like horns, claws and stuff that’d make my works a little more stranger, fiercer, weirder. I like to combine it with my favourite animals such as wolfs and foxes.”

And vampires…

Brooke Allen Vampire

“The first comic book I got really invested in was… (laughs) it might be a little embarrassing, but it was Crimson by Humberto Ramos. It’s a fantasy series about vampires and the art was very much a product of its time. The characters have giant teeth, which I thought was really cool as an adolescent.”

A Harry Potter comic spinoff in the future?

“I’d love to do a Harry Potter comic series! I think that’d be really cool. I don’t wanna get rid of Harry or anything, but he’s already told his story, so maybe I’d draw it from another perspective of the other characters. Also, I’ve just been really obsessed with Netflix’s Stranger Things. It’s so good! I’d want to do a comic of that too.”

She doesn’t hang out at a comic shop.

“I’d go into a comic shop to get comics and card games like Pokemon etc, but since it’s a very male-dominated space – specifically in my hometown – so there’ll just be a bunch of guys hanging there and you get the feeling like ‘Oh man, I’m being stared at real hard right now’ because I’m a girl (laughs). So back in the days, I’d rather hang out in a coffee shop or a bookstore with my friends, and read the comics that I picked up from the comic shop. I didn’t have a lot of fangirl friends and neither do I have a computer at home, so I was limited to how much I could nerd out with other people.” 

She has her insecurities.

Brooke Allen

“I identify myself the most with Molly from Lumberjanes. She doesn’t have the life everyone else have in the comics, so that’s why she’s a little insecure and on the reserved side. But I think nature is her sanctuary and she feels very safe there, which I can definitely resonate with that. I wish I was more like Ripley ‘cause she’s like a little wild child and knows how to have a good time, but I think I’m more like Molly.”

She enjoys building things.

“I love comics because you have so much control over the world that you’re building. You only have a small part to play in cartoons and animations, but you get to build everything from scratch in comics. If I could create my own world, it’d probably encompass a lot of Lumberjanes elements and mythical creatures, with friendship and adventure as its main theme.

…A lot of things.

“Most of my hobbies are actually related to art in some way, like toy making, card making, book making and spray painting. I also enjoy building furniture since my father’s a carpenter. It’s a great outlet because I’m making things, but not necessarily comics.”

She wishes to explore mature topics.

Brooke Allen

“I’d love to do more stories that are heavier in content and focus on the more sensitive issues that we face growing up. It’s something I feel like I need to tell at some point. But I’m sure there’ll still be a certain amount of magic and some fictional fantasy twist involved to keep it a little more lighthearted.”

Most importantly, she’s out to inspire.

“Be yourself, tell the stories you want to see made in the world and craft content that really sticks to the readers. For Lumberjanes, we wanted a comic that is made by a woman, featuring a cast of female protagonists, and had plenty of adventures and monsters. That’s something we all wanted to read and wish we had when we were younger – and we made it.”

Image credits: STGCC

Don’t miss the chance to meet Brooke Allen at the Singapore Toy, Game, Comic Convention (STGCC) on 10 and 11 September! There’ll also be fellow artists like Emma Rios, Phil Noto and Nick Spencer making an appearance, visit www.singaporetgcc.com more info.


Movie of the Week: The BFG

16 Aug 2016 by Venetia Sng

Based on the 1982 novel by Roald Dahl, this film has been in development for more than 20 years! Take a sneak peek of the visual spectacle in the gallery above.

A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant (BFG) who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.

The BFG will be hitting the screens on 18 August!


Meet The Actor Who Leapt From K-Drama Cliche To Thriller Movie Lead

12 Aug 2016 by Chew Hui Ling

If you didn’t watch She Was Pretty, you’re missing out on one of the best K-dramas in 2015 – which also happens to be the show that catapulted Park Seo Joon to fame since his debut in Dream High 2. But there’s still plenty to look forward to, particularly his big-screen transformation into a young detective in the upcoming thriller The Chronicles of Evil. Gone is the clean-cut, dashing heartthrob we know; what we see now is a complex, tormented character by the name of Cha Dong Jae. In an email interview, the actor dished on his first movie lead role, behind-the-scenes titbits and more.


He plays a detective you’ll love more than Sherlock

“I play the youngest member in the investigation team, who was captivated by the legendary story of Inspector Choi (Son Hyun Joo) and therefore becomes determined to be a member of the serious crime squad. But Cha Dong Jae is a complicated character. He looks cool and calm, but he’s always troubled by his inner conflicts. He’s full of stories – he evaluates and examines everything carefully before making decisions. When I was studying the role, I was worried and spent a lot of time fine-tuning my emotions in order to portray his character.

The Chronicles of Evil

It was one of the best experiences he had

“It was always fun during filming. I felt relieved since the actors I’m working with are very considerate [towards me]. Special mention to Ma Dong Seok sunbae who always made us laugh on set. We even nicknamed him ‘Mayomi’ (a wordplay on Kwyomi)!”

The Chronicles of Evil

You’d never guess that he’s actually shy IRL

“I was more used to thinking [on my own] rather than expressing my emotions since I was a child. Thus, when I grew up, I was doubtful if I’d be able to become an actor because of my shy personality. But once I started pursuing a career in acting, I find that I can express various emotions through acting while experiencing different kinds of ‘lives’. This makes me more ambitious in my work.”

The Revenant Leonardo Dicaprio

He looks up to Leonardo DiCarprio

“I like Leonardo DiCarprio. He acts brilliantly in The Revenant, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Great Gatsby. He’s handsome, but he has also managed to prove that he can act well.”

The Chronicles of Evil

Looking forward to The Chronicles of Evil yet?

“It’s a thriller that illustrates the synergy of an appealing script and a cast of veteran actors. You’ll be immersed in the complicated mentation of Inspector Choi as well as Cha Dong Jae’s emotions, all while being captivated by the tensions in the movie. I think the plot twists make the film more enjoyable and entertaining.” 

Catch Park Seo Joon on The Chronicles of Evil, premiering 18 August on Thrill’s Asian Fear Fest on Singtel TV Ch 415 and StarHub Ch 618.

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Zico & Seolhyun - Our Newest K-Pop Couple

11 Aug 2016 by Venetia Sng

Block B’s Zico and AOA’s Seolhyun is officially dating! This came really unexpected as both of them have really different images, but then again we don’t know them personally so who are we to judge right?

Shortly after Korean media Dispatch released photos of Zico and Seolhyun on dates, their respective agencies have released official statements to confirm the two idol’s relationship!

Zico Seolhyun Dating 1

Seolhyun was captured running towards Zico’s apartment on multiple occasions.

Zico Seolhyun Dating 1

Are you shipping this new couple? Let us know in the comments below!


12 K-Pop MVs That Are Actually Advertisements

10 Aug 2016 by Venetia Sng

Did you know some of our favourite K-pop music videos (MV) are actually paid endorsements by companies like LG, Coca-Cola and even Toyota? We didn’t know that ‘Galaxy Supernova’ by Girls’ Generation is an advertisement for Samantha Thavasa Jeans! We list down 12 MVs that are actually advertisements!

Girls’ Generation – Visual Dreams
Advertisement for Intel

Hyuna – My Colour
Advertisement for Toyota

Dara – Kiss
Advertisement for Cass Beer

Girls’ Generation – Galaxy Supernova
Advertisement for Samantha Thavasa Jeans

Wave – GFriend
Advertisement for American Tourister

Lollipop – Big Bang & 2NE1
Advertisement for LG

Taste The Feeling – NCT 127
Advertisement for Coca-Cola

Chocolate Love – Girls’ Generation
Advertisement for LG

Don’t Stop The Music – 2NE1
Advertisement for Yamaha

Maxstep – Younique
Advertisement for Hyundai

Woo Hoo – Mamamoo
Advertisement for LG

Hello Bubble – Girl’s Day
Advertisement for Miseenscene

Did we miss out on any? Let us know by commenting below! By the way, we bet you didn’t know that some of your favourite K-Pop songs are actually remakes. Check them out here.

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