Koo's comic book capers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am

Louis Koo Tin-lok has been flat out with his acting career, but the comics and science-fiction fan found time to publish a book on the subject, Toys Battle, which eager fans snapped up in its first week of release recently. 'All 5,000 copies of the first edition sold out and we're now putting the second edition to print,' said Koo. All proceeds are going to Unicef.

Despite the warm response to his book, the 37-year-old actor (left) has no plans to publish another one any time soon. The star of Derek Yee Tung-shing's Protege and Johnnie To Kei-fung's Election series was hard-pressed to find the time to put it together - last year alone he starred in four films.

'This book took me almost two years to publish, it was a very long process and I don't think I will be releasing any new books in the next couple of years,' he said.

Toys Battle adopts a humorous tone to comment on famous characters such as the Darth Vader, Spider-Man, Batman, Death Note's Light Yagami as well as Le Petit Prince and Mickey Mouse. Koo also compared the directing of Bryan Singer's X-Men with Tim Burton's two Batman movies.

To research the book, Koo visited toy collectors in Japan and also interviewed comic writers, including Transformers' comic artist Pat Lee Chi-kin, and he also nursed the book through each stage into print.

Koo's love of the genres stems from childhood, when he first saw Star Wars. He's wanted to make a Chinese version of the film ever since. Then a few years ago, as he was collecting information in the hopes of fulfilling his dream, he came across many stories about comic characters and decided to publish a book instead.

Koo's ambitions for doing a big production sci-fi movie in Asia are still alive, though. He's been discussing the possibility with Eye in the Sky writer-director Yau Nai-hoi.

'We've been talking about it for almost a year now and there have been some parties interested in making an investment but, at the end of the day, it's such a huge project and it will take years to plan for, including issues involving the prop making and so on,' he said.

However, Koo plans to get another project off the ground so he can share his obsession - again in the hope of helping kids. He wants to open a toy exhibition to house his huge collection of comic and sci-fi characters, which are presently stored in a warehouse.

'I've decided to stop expanding my collection since it's such an expensive hobby, but maybe I can invite children, especially those from orphanages, to visit my collection. I think we can admit about 10 people at a time every Saturday and Sunday,' he said.

One of the cherished figures in his collection, a life-sized Darth Vader figure worth HK$70,000, is on display until the end of this month at Vision Bookcafe, 2/F, 9 Queen Victoria Street, Central, to coincide with the launch of his new book.