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Thursday, 11 December 2014

When I was a kid.....

THIS IS NOT A FOOD POST

For those of you thinking you'd be getting some childhood stories from me when you saw my post title, I'm sorry but that's not going to happen....although there will still be childhood stories, only not mine but the childhood stories of Cheeming Boey.

For those of you who don't know him (yet), Boey is a Malaysian artist best known for his cup art on polystyrene (or styrofoam) cups, his (almost) daily webcomic "I am Boey" and his autobiographical graphic novel "When I was a kid".  But I know him best as the author of his "When I was a kid" book series.

I didn't know of his existence (sorry, Boey) or his books at first.  My first encounter with him was purely accidental.  Sometime last year (24 November 2013 according to the photos in my phone), I was in Pavilion KL 'babysitting' my friend's daughter while she went about with her 'beauty regime' for an hour.  So, how do you keep a little one preoccupied for 1 hour?  I can only think of 3 things...food, toys or books.  I couldn't go with the 1st option as we just ate and the 2nd was a no-no coz I can't have a kid running loose in a toy store.  The 3rd option was my best (and only) option....so, off to Times Bookstore we went.

I took her to the children's book section and let her browse through the books to her heart's content while keeping an eye on her all the time.  After a while, I noticed a guy giving some kind of a talk (that was what I thought initially) at the small cafĂ© inside the bookstore.  At first, I didn't pay much attention but the closer I got, I saw that he was easy on the eyes.  So, I inched myself nearer and saw that it was actually a book signing event.  By then, the hour was up and I had to leave to go back to the beauty place my friend was at.  I then told her about this somewhat good looking guy doing a book signing at Times and we decided to return to check it out.

It was then that I 'met' (loosely defined as 'saw') Boey.  He was at the book signing event of his second book "When I was a kid 2".  We immediately went to check out the book (just a few pages of it) and found it highly amusing.  I bought "When I was a kid 2" while my friend picked up his first book "When I was a kid".  We then waited in line to get the book signed (it wasn't a long queue coz it was already at the tail end of the event or maybe he didn't have that many fans then..keke!).

This is my signed copy of "When I was a kid 2" from his book signing tour in 2013...the only one with a personalised short message ;)  I finished reading the book very quickly and enjoyed it so much that I went out (within the same week) to get my hands on his other book.  My friend did the exact same thing.

When my friend highlighted to me that his third book "When I was a kid 3" was due out soon, I immediately checked his Facebook page and got the dates for his 'Very Danger Tour' in KL.  His first available date (at a shopping mall) was 6 Dec 2014 at Mid Valley....and, so, in the words of Michael Jackson...I'll be there!

I had a sneak peek in Kinokuniya Bookstore in KLCC a few days earlier while I was doing some shopping there.

I had to summon all my strength not to succumb to temptation to buy the book first as I had already made plans (with a friend) to be at his first scheduled book signing date in KL.

We made our way to MPH Mid Valley on a Saturday afternoon on 6 December 2014.  Finding a parking spot was a nightmare and we only succeeded after about half an hour.  When we got to MPH, we saw that there was already a crowd there listening attentively to his talk.

While listening to him talk, I couldn't help but notice (and loved) the awesome looking standee at the bookstore (of him with a cute "tung tiew", aka Chinese feather duster, also commonly known as the device used to discipline us when we were young)...now, who among us have not "makan" tung tiew before!! XD

We quickly purchased his latest book, and his 2015 Calendar as well, and caught a bit of his talk, and waited patiently for the book signing session to begin.

This is him signing my copy of his third book "When I was a kid 3".....and he drew the tung tiew for me...I'm over the moon!  He didn't have time to write a message this time because there seems to be more people at his book signings now that he's more famous! =D

Of course, not forgetting to get him to 'personalise' my 2015 Calendar also!  

Let me give you a sneak preview of the inside....it's an awesome calendar!

This is a 'keeper' for sure...even after 2015 is over.

Even his Sharpie pens are a collection...keke!!  We managed to get the very last green Sharpie pen (before it ran out) and my friend was so nice to let me have it...thanks dear.

I also brought along his first book in the hope that he wouldn't mind signing it as well...and he didn't.

Here's my signed copy of "When I was a kid"...I'm still happy even if it's just a simple drawing!!

So, what is "When I was a kid" all about?  It's a collection of stories of him growing up on a bird farm in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.  The back page of "When I was a kid" says it all.  It's a prequel to his day-to-day blog, iamboey.com.

He published his first book in 2012 "When I was a kid" and it shot to the top ten on the local non-fiction bestseller's list here in just 3 weeks.  He followed this up with his second book "When I was a kid 2" in 2013 which was another resounding success.  And now, in 2014, he has published his third book "When I was a kid 3".  I can see why his books resonate with so many people (especially Malaysians)...it's because we can all relate to his stories of growing up in Malaysia (god knows we've done some of those very things he's done too).  His books appeal to both the young and the old (as evidenced by the people who came for his book signing) but I do believe that the older you are, the more you will enjoy and appreciate his books.  Why....because they're childhood stories...and the further along we are in our lives....the more we reminisce what these memories mean to us!

Why do I like his books so much?  Let me see...my top ten reasons will have to be.....

...it's endearing =)
...it's funny
...it's entertaining
...it brings a smile to my face :)
...it's relatable
...it makes me laugh out loud :D
...he's so good at storytelling
...his drawings are simple and cute, yet enough to bring the story to life :-)
...and he's also very charming in person ;)
...but, most of all, it makes me happy as it takes us all on a trip down memory lane to our own childhood memories too.

"When I was a kid 3" is just as funny and entertaining as his two previous books but his first book will always be dear to my heart as it was the one that introduced him (and all his lovable antics) to me.  I'm forever a fan!!!

You can visit his Facebook page or check him out on his blog @ iamboey.com and if you find that you like reading his journal (which he started writing in 2007 at age 29), you'd definitely enjoy his books too.

Get your hands on his "When I was a kid" series....and I guarantee that you'll enjoy it as much as I did (take my word for it)!! :D :D :D

A good read (like good food) is supposed to be savoured.....slowly...yumssss!!  And when the food is good (and I need seconds or even thirds), I'll read books 1 & 2 again (which I've done many times before)...keke!!

At the book signing session, I asked him if there will there be a "When I was a kid 4"?  I certainly hope so...I'll be waiting with bated breath!  I don't think I got an answer to my question though....maybe he just derives immense gratification from seeing us grovel and beg...kekeke!!  I'm already wondering what the cover of book 4 might look like (since he has already featured his mom, dad and sis in the first three books)...could it be grandma?  I'm rooting for grandma coz the stories featuring her are so heart wrenching.

As with all 'creative minds', writers sometimes need to embark on a different (and more challenging) journey....and I support that....but maybe after "When I was a kid 10"...muahahaha...you know the saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ;-)

I'm eager to see what he has in store for us next!

A shout out to Boey (in case he drops by):

All the best to your (so adorable) Mom (who have to take all your shit)...your (strict looking) Dad (who really loves you very much)....your (lovely) sis (whom you bully all the time)...and you (the ever so naughty one)!

Don't stop writing........or drawing, Boey.....ever!!!

P/S:  I know you don't like reading l...o..n...n..g...g...g blogs.....but that's how I write, call me maybe "cheong hei" (long winded)...I don't care, I love it!
 

14 comments:

  1. Handsome guy! Sure would want to grab a copy of his book(s) if I see it in the shops. We have Popular here - dunno if it's available there. And this is his 3rd? Gee!!! Didn't get to see the other two. Will look out for those too.

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    1. Don't know if it's available in East Malaysia yet. If you (or anyone else) can't find his books, do let me know....I'll be happy to get them for you.

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  2. I checked put his blog. No wonder you are so smitten! Very witty guy. I did not know about him until today :)

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    1. Who wouldn't be smitten? He's wittty (and cute) ;) At the book signing, he got quite a lot of gifts (probably from the ladies) :D Glad you know him now!

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  3. I went to his blog and... BWAHAHAHAHA!!! I am so going to buy his book!

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    1. You checked out his blog...awesome! You're gonna buy his books.....awesome! You're so gonna love his books =)

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    2. By the way, I remember telling you about his books when you blogged about a "Comic Book from Japan" (a kickstarter project you funded). Boey also funded his first two books through kickstarter.

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    3. I think I searched for it online but didn't get to his blog, then I forgot all about it.. hmm..

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  4. A book post today. Let me go check out his blog. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, do check out his blog. He's so good at what he does!

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  5. wah, very cool! thank you for the introduction to boey :)

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    1. You're welcome! I'm sure you'd enjoy his blog (and his books). They're a fun and light read :)

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  6. Nice to know some local authors. Thanks for the intro!

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    1. I'm glad to have introduced this local author (who now resides in the States) to you. Do check out his books...they're fun and entertaining!

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