Thursday, February 15, 2007

Turtle Memories

I'm not even sure how events transpired. I just remember someone telling me, "Oh you're into comics? You have to come meet Turtle then. He's from Singapore too and he's an artist who draws comics."

I remember meeting Johnny Lau then. He had scraggly hair, very artistic-like, all skin and bones, and he talked fast. It turned out that he knew some of my old friends from Singapore and we got to talking. For the first six months I knew Johnny, I was very nervous around him, because he was a published artist - he had a comic strip running in a Singapore newspaper called with a turtle main character, hence Johnny's nickname. But in time, I learned to relax and trust him like a brother.

Ideas would spill out of Johnny, with his hand movements slicing the air and penstrokes dicing up the page. Watching him draw was literally watching a scene unfold in seconds before your eyes. I had the wonderful opportunity during college to watch two of the fastest cartoonists around - Sergio Aragones and Johnny Lau.

Johnny moved back to Singapore after college and well, honestly? I've a poor sense of belonging - I rarely feel that I fit in anywhere and so I tend to drift away from people that I hang out with. It's all projections of mine and I know it, but sometimes fighting the feeling is hard, especially with months/years of separation so I just give into the feelings and let the friendships drift. We'd lose touch after a while (because I'd stop keeping in touch) but Johnny has always kept an eye out on my projects and every few years, we'd either email or see each other.

Johnny "Turtle" Lau is a good person and a good friend. I'm glad he's my friend.

As for that picture above? That's revenge for telling the entire Asian Animal House that I blogged about them. :)



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