Recently, I came across a graphic novel that has a trailer especially created for a YouTube audience. Shanghai Blues really blew me away with the story after I read the graphic novel. Adapted from a full-length play by Laara Ong, the graphic novel (by the same writer) is set in Shanghai in 1939. Mei-mei a nightclub singer gets entangled in the murder of a Japanese Officer and is thrown in jail, in the meantime her boyfriend Lu-xia falls in love with Mei-mei’s sister Go-xin. (Wait, it gets more interesting and complicated). Lu-xia then has a spiritual encounter and becomes torn between his conscience and his heart. How will he resolve his struggle? Born and raised in Canada, Laara Ong decided to base one of her main characters, Lu-xia, on her grandfather. I came across Laara Ong’s acting credits and realized she’s an industry veteran in Canada with roles in The Outer Limits (TV Series), Dark Angel (TV Series), Wiseguy (TV Series), and movies such as The Taste of Tea and Double Happiness.
It is very exciting that Laara Ong will be coming to Vancouver and will be giving a presentation “Storytelling and the Graphic Novel” as part of the first literASIAN, a festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing on November 23, 2013. Come check out how to make a graphic novel!