The music1 for Five Ashore in Singapore was composed by renowned French composer Antoine Duhamel, who had just begun his career by scoring French New Wave films by legendary directors Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. At the request of Five Ashore’s director Bernard Toublanc-Michel, he composed Somewhere in Singapore (also known as the Marines’ March – “La marche des Marines” in French) with lyrics by Jimmy Parramore.
Cover of the French record album of Five Ashore in Singapore, 1967. The music for the film was composed by renowned French composer Antoine Duhamel. © Barclay Editions. Courtesy of Raphaël Millet.
Quite brazenly, the song was directly based on the melody of the now iconic Yellow Submarine, the Beatles’ number one hit in 1966. Indeed, Toublanc-Michel had asked his actors who played the five Marines to stride out of Clifford Pier with the Beatles’ song playing in their heads, so as to lend a certain rhythm to their swagger.
Other melodies with no lyrics composed by Duhamel include Paradise Limited for the club scene and Thème de la drogue (the drug theme) for the opium den scene.
Anthologies are a popular format for comics. A number of collections have been published over the years and these have helped to bring many artists to prominence.
漫画同盟 (Comics Alliance) – a four-volume anthology series published in 1997, 1998 and 2001 – is a compilation of Chinese comics by various Singaporean comic artists. The books are edited by comic veterans Wee Tian Beng and Wee See Heng. Cover of the volume published in 2001. Image reproduced from Eldred Deng, ed., 漫画同盟  = Comics Alliance 2001 (新加坡: 亚太图书, 2001) (From National Library, Singapore, Call no. Chinese RSING 741.595957 COM).
The Liquid City anthology, the brainchild of Sonny Liew, brought together a star-studded cast of artists who contributed short comics that have been compiled in three volumes. The series has received much attention, with volume two being nominated for Best Anthology Series at the 2011 Eisner Awards. Many of the participating artists went on to produce their own comic books. Otto Fong, a contributor to the anthology, said: “The experience of being in an anthology and working alongside other comics artists spurred my competitiveness.”[^2]
Volume two of the Liquid City anthology was nominated for Best Anthology Series at the 2011 Eisner Awards. Image reproduced from Sonny Liew and Lim Cheng Tju, eds., Liquid City Volume Two (Berkeley, California: Image Comics, ). (From National Library, Singapore, Call no. RSING 741.59 LIQ).
In 2015, when Singapore celebrated 50 years of independence, a comics publication titled Our Months Together, comprising 12 stories representing the 12 months in a year, was published. That same year also saw the publication of Mr Kiasu in Singapore History, which brought the titular character back to different periods in Singapore’s history.
(Left) In 2015, Our Months Together was published to commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence. Image reproduced from Wee Tian Beng, Liu Jia Hui and Yeo Hui San, eds., Our Months Together: A Comics Anthology by 12 Artists (Singapore: TCZ Studio Pte Ltd, 2015). (From National Library, Singapore, Call no. RSING 741.595957 OUR). (Right) Mr Kiasu goes back in time and encounters different characters from Singapore’s history. Image reproduced from Johnny Lau, Mr Kiasu in Singapore History, (Singapore: Shogakukan Asia, 2019). (From National Library, Singapore Call no. RSING 959.57 LAU).
In 2020, the Difference Engine – an independent comics publisher based in Singapore – released its first anthology titled Sound: A Comics Anthology. The publication is a showcase of 13 comics by writers and illustrators from across Southeast Asia in response to sound.
A showcase of 13 comics in response to sounds. Image reproduced from Budjette Tan and Charis Loke, Sound: A Comics Anthology (Singapore: Difference Engine, 2020). (From National Library, Singapore, call no. RSING 741.5959 SOU-[CMX]).
[^2]: Rebecca Lynne Tan, “Feeling Lucky to be with Lat,” Straits Times, 12 April 2009, 57. (From NewspaperSG)