On sale

Inmytimewhitetape-1
“..that there’s nothing that a little black tape cannot fix… …and that when there’s really something that black tape cannot fix, you need to mark it with white tape”..

I am very chuffed about my first book being on sale from today “at major bookstores”. I don’t know how other authors do it, or what they do, walking into bookshops and seeing their own work on the shelves.

What I’m going to do, is go to Kino and Borders, find the shelf “In My Time” sits on, bring a couple of copies to the bestsellers’ shelves and put them there. You know? So that people think it’s a bestseller? And will also buy? It works you know?

From today’s Straits Times Life!:

Blogger Mr Miyagi pens NS book

From water parades to ‘elephants’ in rifles, Benjamin Lee’s comic book chronicles the ins and outs of national service

by Stephanie Yap, Arts Reporter

IN November 2005, blogger Benjamin Lee, better known as Mr Miyagi, wrote a series of posts about his experiences during a Singapore Armed Forces exercise in Queensland, Australia, which his national service (NS) unit was a part of.

He took the posts down from his popular blog at miyagi.sg, however, after The Sunday Times asked the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) what its policy on blogging about military exercises was, leading the ministry to conduct an investigation.

In the end, Lee was given the go-ahead to blog about his national service (NS) experiences, though Mindef did ask him to refrain from re-posting one or two photographs due to security concerns.

Almost two years later, Lee has published a book about NS รขโ‚ฌโ€œ with the full knowledge and support of Mindef.

In My Time, a 120-page comic book published by Marshall Cavendish with Mindef, presents NS in a humorous and nostalgic light. The title refers to how former NS men like to boast that things were much tougher back in their day.

The book, which has an initial print run of 2,000 copies, was launched at the Army Open House on Sept 1, and is available at major bookstores from today at $9.30 without GST.

“I enjoy telling army stories, and I thought it would be a good time to put a comic book of anecdotes together since it’s the 40th anniversary of NS,” says Lee, 37, who holds the rank of corporal and serves in the 433rd Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment.

Organised as a guide to common characters and situations that NS men encounter during their years of service, the book makes inside references to water parades, elephants in rifles and the various
“kings” that one finds in a platoon – keng, bobo and topo, given respectively to malingerers, poor shots and bad navigators.

The book’s copyright is held by Mindef, and Lee says that the ministry helped him by supplying military-related photographs, which he used to guide illustrator Chua Jon Depp, a Malaysian artist based in Kuala Lumpur who was recommended to Lee by Marshall Cavendish after no suitable local illustrator could be found.

“He was really helpful… he saved some panels by injecting his own humour and style into the scenes,” says the freelance writer.

Meanwhile, readers of Lee’s blog should not expect to see as much of his trademark irreverence and sarcasm on the printed page. Lee says that the decision to leave out the more negative aspects of
NS was a personal choice.

“I do have darker stories about NS, but I intended for this to be a commemorative book. There are other forums for other NS stories,” he says.

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36 thoughts on “On sale”

  1. Hey Ben,

    Saw your pics in ST’s Life section, well done! I wonder if I’m in it? hmmm?

    Well, I will get a copy.

    “Jia + Kun + Pai + Lost”…. are these in also?

    It’s been years! Good to see that you have put that part of our lives in frames!

    Cheers! 11Alpha.

  2. Hey Ben,

    Saw your pics in ST’s Life section, well done! I wonder if I’m in it? hmmm?

    Well, I will get a copy.

    “Jia + Kun + Pai + Lost”…. are these in also?

    It’s been years! Good to see that you have put that part of our lives in frames!

    Cheers! 11Alpha.

  3. 19C to 11A, we are lost! over! hahahahaha!

    Yes, Thomas, there’s a page dedicated to you and every other APC driver who falls asleep at the sticks and snores louder than the engine compartment.

  4. 19C to 11A, we are lost! over! hahahahaha!

    Yes, Thomas, there’s a page dedicated to you and every other APC driver who falls asleep at the sticks and snores louder than the engine compartment.

  5. Woah.. i’m so gonna get one! Is it in popular bookstores? :p

    Anyways, anyone checked out YOURmailTOtheWORLD.blogspot.com? It just got started by a local blogger and i think it’s got a pretty good concept?

  6. Woah.. i’m so gonna get one! Is it in popular bookstores? :p

    Anyways, anyone checked out YOURmailTOtheWORLD.blogspot.com? It just got started by a local blogger and i think it’s got a pretty good concept?

  7. 11A to 19C,

    Yes, images of you and TK emerges when I read about your new book; with incredible clarity the sight of you, both tired, muddied, with stony stair and smeared camouflage face, sitting in the dark waiting, while our APC’s light illuminated the lonely scouts while emerging from the jungle…

    Yes, sleeping in the tight APC compartment has become an art form, it really was pure cruelty selecting tall guys for such a role!

  8. 11A to 19C,

    Yes, images of you and TK emerges when I read about your new book; with incredible clarity the sight of you, both tired, muddied, with stony stair and smeared camouflage face, sitting in the dark waiting, while our APC’s light illuminated the lonely scouts while emerging from the jungle…

    Yes, sleeping in the tight APC compartment has become an art form, it really was pure cruelty selecting tall guys for such a role!

  9. To Wannabe Economist,

    “In My Time” is available in S’pore major bookstores like: Kinokuniya, Borders, Popular. Costs S$9.95 (including GST). No idea whether M’sia bookstores have it…

  10. To Wannabe Economist,

    “In My Time” is available in S’pore major bookstores like: Kinokuniya, Borders, Popular. Costs S$9.95 (including GST). No idea whether M’sia bookstores have it…

  11. Apparently, I have your book.

    My brother finished NS about 1 year ago only, and I read your book 1 day ago. (When I was supposed to be study for my exam, which is much more interesting than math.)

    Loved it when you spoke about the things that have remained the same, and as comics should go, it was hilarious! XD

  12. Apparently, I have your book.

    My brother finished NS about 1 year ago only, and I read your book 1 day ago. (When I was supposed to be study for my exam, which is much more interesting than math.)

    Loved it when you spoke about the things that have remained the same, and as comics should go, it was hilarious! XD

  13. 433 sar! 56 sab! frontdesk clerk that was previously from 9 div. proud to tell my frens i’ve a mini celebrity from within the fmn. all the best for yr last ict!

  14. 433 sar! 56 sab! frontdesk clerk that was previously from 9 div. proud to tell my frens i’ve a mini celebrity from within the fmn. all the best for yr last ict!

  15. I think national service in Singapore is a disgrace.

    Would you be willing to spread the word about http://www.draftresistance.org? It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts!

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.

    Thanks!

    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  16. I think national service in Singapore is a disgrace.

    Would you be willing to spread the word about http://www.draftresistance.org? It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts!

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.

    Thanks!

    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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