Since 2008, the LIQUID CITY comics anthology, edited by Sonny Liew (MALINKY ROBOT) and Joyce Sim, has been showcasing fresh voices from Southeast Asia. The anthology has been well-received by readers and critics alike, picking up an Eisner Award nomination for the second volume in the Best Anthology category in 2011. The third volume of LIQUID CITY, to be published by Image Comics in June, continues in this tradition with more than twenty comics stories and several stand-alone illustrations that ponder the question “If you knew the world was ending, what would be the story you would most want to tell?”
LIQUID CITY VOLUME THREE collects the answers from more than thirty artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and throughout Southeast Asia. The stories, Liew writes in his preface, “provide a snapshot of the lives of Southeast Asian creators and their ultimate hopes, dreams, and fears at world’s end, capturing that one moment in their lives when they dared to play a game of make-belief.”
The stories explore the theme through the lenses of autobiography and current events, as well as through science fiction and fantasy. The diversity of ethnicity in Indonesia is explored in Tita Larasati’s autobiographical “Bloemen Blij Plukken Wij,” and Elvin Chang, from Singapore, also draws from his own experience in the military in “Boy. In “Pig When Small, Cow When Big,” Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thanh Phong takes a humorous look at a food market with no regulations.
Malaysian artist Aks Kwan’s story “Disappear” has a point of view between magic and reality, telling the story of his and his brother’s glimpse of giant guardian spirits. Singaporean artist Benjamin Chee envisions a different kind of behemoth in “Let Me See the Giant Fall,” a story of humanity’s resistance to tyranny and brutality. Adrian Ngin, an artist from Singapore, has an original take on the standard comics trope of superheroes in “iPocalypse,” asking “What if the retiree uncles and aunties frequenting your neighborhood coffee shops had special powers?”
LIQUID CITY VOLUME THREE will be in comic book stores on June 4 and in book stores on June 16. It can be pre-ordered now.