Sunday, January 18, 2015

Asia Pop Comic Con 2015 - Another Convention Is Set to Kick-off in Manila


South-East Asia seems to be the hot spot that comic-convention organizers are targetting recently. The convention market is getting rapidly saturated in North America, with a burgeoning number of conventions held stateside in the last couple of years. There are all these various Wizard World Cons, Comikaze's, Walker Stalker cons, Creation Cons and several others, held in different cities around the continent.

Red Dot Diva has noticed that the spillover appears to have also hit Australasia and the U.K. Over in Australia, different editions of Oz Comic-Con are now held regularly in the various major cities throughout the year. Even in small Red Dot Island, there were several anime-cosplay type fests almost every other month last yea. Not forgetting also, that there was GameStart 2014, which saw the return of a gaming convention in the island after a 5-year absence. In addition, exhibitions company Reed-Pop kicked off the Indonesia Toy Games and Comic Convention in Jakarta not too long ago in November 2014.

So, with the Philippines being one of the largest English-speaking countries in the region, and the homebase of a notable list of well-known comic book artists, it is not a big surprise that another player would be keen to tap into the sizeable and active fanbase there.

Set to kick off in Manila sometime this year (September, it seems?) is Asia Pop Comic Con, run by a Dubai company called the Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG). These are the same folks who own Comicave located in Dubai Outlet Mall, which they claim to be "the largest comics and collectibles superstore". After all, it does have a jaw-gaping store space of over 17,000 square foot of geeky goodness.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Dragon Blade" actors Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody in Singapore for Gala Premiere!

Lunar New Year is a time when many Chinese movies like comedies or blockbusters are released. For many Chinese communities around the world, it has become a tradition to gather a bunch of family members or good friends after the reunion dinner, and head to the cinema to catch a film.

For this coming Year of the Ram, the movie to look out for is action period drama "Dragon Blade" (天将雄狮), which stars action superstar, Jackie Chan, Academy Award winner Adrien Brody, A-lister John Cusack, Korean pop-idol Choi Siwon (Super Junior) and Chinese actresses, Lin Peng and Wang Ruo Xin.

The movie is directed by famed HK film maker Daniel Lee (“White Vengeance”, “14 Blades”) and is set in 48BC, during the Han Dynasty, when Lucius (John Cusack), a Roman general accused of treason treks into the Middle Kingdom with his pack of soldiers. While in the Gobi Desert, he befriends and forms an alliance with Huo An (Jackie Chan), a former commander forced into slavery by corrupt officials. Hot on Lucius' heels is Tiberius (Adrien Brody), the ambitious baddie son of Rome's Consul. Tiberius is leading a large troop of 100,000 soldiers toward the Chinese border, intent on capturing the runaway general.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

At Kinokuniya: Local Writer Wayne Rée's Not So Tiny Q&A Panel

2014 has been a wonderful year for Red Dot Diva because she got to know a few more interesting humans of the geek tribe. And with a chosen particular few, she got to interact with them even more, making her life a very interesting ride outside the humdrum of a cubicle-based day job.

One of these geeky souls is Wayne Rée.Yes, the exuberant one with the rocker-like tattooed biceps, silver-tinged hair and sexy beard. For visual reference, Red Dot Diva is helpfully providing a pic taken during STGCC 2014. That's Wayne, on the left, happily flexing his biceps. Heh heh.


Together with fellow-writer/artist-in-crime Gene Whitlock (the even crazier one on the right), they have each released their first books with small publisher Math Paper Press (an imprint of Books Actually) at STGCC. For Gene Whitlock, it was a madhouse anthropomorphic caper called "The Unsavoury Alphabet". As for Wayne, his creative output was a quieter and very insightful book consisting of a collection of 11 short proses entitled "Tales From A Tiny Room".

At Kinokuniya's relocated main store two months ago, Wayne held a not-so-tiny Q&A session that was ably moderated by 1/3 Here Be Geeks, Peter Lin. The main topic of discussion was how Wayne got his first book "From Concept to Print".

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Spotted: Diva's Top 5 OffBeat (or Cute!) Festive Sightings in 2014

Did somebody's tree escape?
It's that time of year again!

The air(con) gets a few degrees chillier. More commuters attempt to burrow in their hoodies, trying to escape from the wet monsoon season. Little human monsters run recklessly afoot at malls as if they were specially bred to trip people up.... And to add insult to injury, the vapid Christmas lighting dangle all around Orchard Road like are cash registers made of gold.

There's simply no better time (*snark*) to channel your geekiness in other ways so that the year-end holidays are More Kapow, Less Humbug.

Here are Red Dot Diva's Top 5 Weird (Cute) and Offbeat Things she spotted during the Christmas season. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Batman 75th Anniversary - Takashimaya Square Taken Over By A Gotham City Cosplay Battle!

Earlier today at Takashimaya Square, a superhero battle of a different sort took place.

20 contestants came together on stage for the first-ever cosplay competition of Batman and Gotham City characters. The event was the last of many events held this year as part of this year's special Batman 75th Anniversary celebration. (Click here for a previous article on this.)

There was also a replica of the 1989 Batmobile on display beside the stage, which captured a lot of admiration from Batman fans - young and old alike.


Red Dot Diva was at the cosplay event to give moral support to a couple of friends who were participating in the competition. @Sarahcoldheart was there as the current version of Batgirl, and Raymond Xperia Chan was all suited up as Batman.

Just before the event kicked off, she bumped into fellow geek blogger, action figure customizer and ardent DC comics supporter Jedd Jong. As expected, he had brought his customized action figures with him.

Accompanying Jedd for today were 1989 Keaton Batman, and unmasked Catwoman! Of course, Red Dot Diva had to molest action figure Batman's biceps. *grin*


Very promptly at 1 PM, the event host Juliana came on stage to introduce the judges for the competition. They were Wallace Tay from Pacific Licensing Studios, Bernard Ang from GnB Comics, and Reno Tan from Movie Mania.


After which, the cosplay contestants were introduced on stage, one after the other. Unfortunately, Red Dot Diva cannot remember all of the cosplayer names (sorry!) but there were a few who really stood out.

The first few contestants were hamming it up with their stage presence, especially Scarecrow. His costume wasn't much but he was going around spreading his fear toxin via aerosol spray can. Pzzt psszzt. Red Dot Diva thought he was hilarious.


Then, there was a really good and pretty rare cosplay of a Stephanie Brown version of Robin. Female represent, YEAH! Red Dot Diva learnt that the cosplayer was from Hong Kong and she came all the way to Red Dot Island for the competition! WOW. Talk about dedication!


One of Red Dot Diva's favourite was what she calls Harvey Quinn -- or genderbend Harley Quinn. For one thing, there were BICEPS, yo! And also, Harvey Quinn certainly had a lot of bad boy stage presence.


The other two who did their poses well were young, svelte Nightwing and hunky Red Hood.


@Sarahcoldheart was cute as ever being Batgirl. She was the one of the most resonant and energetic on stage. And that's even after taking into consideration that prior to the cosplay contest, she ran for the 10km Standard Chartered Marathon bright and early in the morning!


As for the two Batman cosplays, Red Dot Diva liked both Jacen's and Raymond's versions. She can't decide which!


Many of the others seemed a little awed by the number of onlookers somehow, and didn't stay still to pose long enough for the audience to soak in their presence. The DC52 Joker had a really cool cosplay getup but he seemed a little shy. (Note to new and aspiring cosplayers: Be confident, hold your poses, and strut it on stage!)

The judges were not the only ones deciding on the Top 3 winners. The audience had a chance to cast their votes on site as well. After a few minutes tabulating the results, the final 3 were Batman (Jacen Khoo), Red Hood and Steph Robin!! Congratulations!


Even for those who did not win, they looked like they were having fun. Which was what geeky cosplay is all about, isn't it?

Here's another look of all the contestants with the judges: (OK, so...  Gotham City Police dude looks a little down in the dumps, but then again, patrolling the streets of Gotham City is a tough job.)


Just when one thinks it's safe after the cosplay competition had officially ended, there was more mayhem to be seen.

Out of nowhere, Nurse Joker appeared. After making a very tentative truce with Batman, they posed for a photo op.


And Harvey Quinn was caught throwing a mini tantrum and about to take it out on the Batmobile....


Good thing, the Bat Family were all there to save the day! Even the Baby ones!


By the way, special mention to Victoria, who was in a really pretty Batgirl (animated cartoon version) costume but decided not to participate because of minor "wardrobe malfunction". Still, she attracted a lot of attention with her unusual costume. That was because many were unfamiliar with this particular version of Batgirl, and a few even called her BatMummy. Yes. You heard it right. BAT MUMMY. Is anyone going to do an Egyptian alternate universe for Batgirl yet?


Soon, everyone had kind of dispersed in their own groups or gone off to remove their costumes. But... there was still one more thing Red Dot Diva wanted to do before she headed home.

A Batman and Catwoman "Meet and Greet" was scheduled to take place at the same stage at 4 PM. That was still 1.5 hours away. So, after wandering around Takashimaya shopping for Christmas trimmings and much needed sustenance, Red Dot Diva returned to stage side to get a good vantage point.

There was a long line of excited children waiting for the appearance, and soon all the available floor space in front of the stage were taken up by a sea of eager faces.

When showtime was up, Catwoman was the first to appear. She slinked across the stage, cracking her leather whip to very good effect. Red Dot Diva thought a few grown men possibly purred at the sight of her too.



Tall and buff Batman then joined her on stage. He was a uber-friendly kind of Batman, waving to the kids and crowd. There was a chance to take photos (no selfies though!) with the two characters, so Red Dot Diva practically dived into the queue. From what she saw, she was the only non-parent in line for photos. Hahaha. Not shy, lor.

But since Red Dot Diva is an evil minx, she thinks she fits right into the Bat-Cat family. Yes? ;)




Sunday, November 30, 2014

24 Hour Comic Book Exhibition and Cartoons Underground Festival Throw the Spotlight on Local Artistic Talent

It's the last month of the year.  Eeks.

In the midst of scrambling for getting one's work done before the year ends, well-deserved and planned (or maybe impromptu) holiday breaks and party preparations, there are always this last rush of events that seem to crop up in December. Like one's boss sneaking up from behind just when one is going on an emo-rant on Facebook.

Red Dot Diva got wind of two upcoming exhibitions that might be of interest to the local geek crowd. Check these out:



24 Hour Comics Exhibition
Back in early October, the annual Singapore 24-Hour Comics Day kicked off at LaSalle College of the Arts, where aspiring comic creators and artists hole themselves up in rooms to create a story within a day.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Inaugural Singapore Media Festival - A Celebration of Asian Film and TV

After a two-year hiatus, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns this year with a showcase of a total of 147 films from 50 countries.

SGIFF's comeback heralds a glorious celebration of cinema, together with three other industry-related film and TV events, namely the Asian Television Forum (ATF), Screen Singapore and Asian TV Awards (ATA).

All four events will be held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in December 2014, under the umbrella of Singapore Media Festival, the first of its kind hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

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