Satire is not dead: 2 local illustrators ridicule life in Singapore with comics inspired by The New Yorker

Satire is not dead: 2 local illustrators ridicule life in Singapore with comics inspired by The New Yorker

Why so serious

Text: Yimin Huang

Editor: Aravin Sandran

SemiSerious and Highnunchicken are self-publishing their satirical illustrations on social media and tickling their growing local fanbase

Referencing the illustration technique of the reputable one-panel cartoons at The New Yorker, local comics SemiSerious and Highnunchicken are poking fun at political and social issues in Singapore, often through relatable everyday scenarios. Random, silly, blunt and thought-provoking — both comics have struck a chord with local audiences and are quickly gaining traction on social media.


Created by doodle artist Guay Chong Kian, SemiSerious is a Facebook page dedicated to comics that show "a lighter side of Singapore". Guay brings humour and wit using clever puns to weight subjects like politics. For example, with regards to the recent historic meeting between North Korean politician Kim Jong-un and president Donald Trump in Singapore, Guay plays on both of their chubby physical appearance by emphasising the word 'heavy' in 'heavyweights', depicting them weighing a cable car down so much that it almost touches the sea below. 

SemiSerious' political commentary is razor sharp as he mocks Halimah Yacob's rise to the presidency by depicting her as a mechanical robot with the caption, "Everything is in control for the next 6 years".  


Highnunchicken is an up-and-coming satirical comic series on Instagram that is anonymously managed. Similar to SemiSerious, it leaves no stone unturned, touching on a variety of hot-button socio-political issues. In line with the Hungry Ghost month, its latest Instagram posts have highlighted both humorous and poignant sides of this traditional Chinese festival.


Highnunchicken does not shy away from making light of heavyhanded issues. In a recent post, the account takes a stab at the death penalty issue in Singapore by showing an executioner ironically asking the prisoner to voice out any feelings of pain during the process.


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