Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maple Comics

Maple Comics is new kid in town. Maple Comics is a publishing company that produces comics and illustrated works. The first work they published Kuala Terengganu in Seven Days, written and illustrated by Mimi Mashud. 
Recently I have interviewed the brains behind Maple Comics and the article appeared in theSun newspaper on Jan 21. Maple Comics has published their second work, a science fiction work entitled Invasi that focuses on an alien attack on Kuala Lumpur. They will be selling Invasi for the first time at Pesta Buku Selangor (Selangor Book Fair) in Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) staring today till February 8. Below is the story that was published in the sun newspaper on Jan 21 

Headline: Drawn To Pictures Story  
By Bissme S 

A passion  for comics led friends Amir Hafizi and Fairul Nizam to become business partners,starting a company called Maple Comics that publishes illustrated books by local writers and cartoonists.
“We wanted to tell stories through drawings,” says Fairul.
He adds that comic books in Malaysia are usually humorous and targeted at children, although there are comics that appeal to adults.
However, the duo point out, there has been a change over the years as more adults turned to comics.
“We are reaping the fruits [of that change] as comics are no longer the domain of children,” Fairul says.
Still, the two wanted to be more adventurous. Instead of just comics, they decided to publish illustrated books covering all genres – from travelogues to noir and science fiction.
Late last year, they published their first book, an English language travelogue entitled Kuala Terengganu in Seven Days, written and illustrated by Mimi Mashud. Laced with the author’s personal anecdotes, the book is about her rediscovering her mother’s hometown, Kuala Terengganu, which is famous for its keropok lekor and turtles. It is a light and enjoyable read for anyone who wants to know more about the capital of this East Coast state of Terengganu.
Maple Comics second publication will be a science fiction work entitled Invasi that focuses on an alien attack on Kuala Lumpur.
“Invasi was a novel that I read,”says Amir. 
“I really believe it will be more effective as a comicbook.”
Invasi will be available at the Selangor Book Fair in Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC), from Jan 29 to Feb 8. Currently, the two are working on their third publication,  an adaptation of an old Malay folktale entitled Taubat Si Tanggang.It is about an  ungrateful son,who is cursed by his own mother and turns into a stone statue. 
On the type of stories they look for, Fairulsays they tell the writers there is no restriction on what they want to write nor the need to
worry about selling their books.
“We are looking for candidates who have the passion to tell their stories. When you give your writers freedom to tell the stories they are passionate about, they pour their heart and soul into their work."
The duo also plan to come out with their own comicbooks. In fact, Amir is working on one he has entitled Nafiri. It will highlight myths and folklore from the South Asia region.
“This idea has been playing in my mind since I was 19,” Amir says.
When asked if they have any interest in creating a superhero, Fairul says: “If it is a rip-off of Spiderman or Superman, then we are not interested. We would create a superhero if the story is interesting and original.”
Unlike many other comic publishers, Maple Comics allow the comic creators to hold the copyright to their characters. 
“We only get the publishing rights on their works for a certain period and a certain percentage of the sales,” says Amir.
“We ourselves are creators, and the last thing we want is to take advantage of other creators. If we take everything from [them], what is their motivation to create better characters?” 

The brains behind Maple Comics - Fairul ( right) & Amir

The first work that Maple Comics published. 
Invasi.. the second work from Maple comics  
Another scene from Invasi ... that is currently being sold at Pesta Buku Selangor

A tense moment in Invasi