Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts

Saturday, August 25, 2018

STGCC 2018 - Diva Chats with Mark Brooks about Han Solo and Star Wars' Toxic Fans


Artist Mark Brooks' eye-catching and vibrant artwork has graced the covers of many high-profile Marvel comic books like "Deadpool", "Secret Empire", "Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man". He used to work exclusively for Marvel, but recently, he has been lured by DC Comics to be a variant cover artist starting with the iconic Detective Comics issue #982.

Mark Brook's lifelike rendition of the human figure is striking, especially for the female form. His drawings of female superheroes and villains show off their individual beauty and quirks, balancing strength and a kind of glowy softness.


When Red Dot Diva learnt that Mark Brooks was also asked to draw for Marvel's run on Star Wars comics, she thought that this was a brilliant choice, especially when he was asked to collaborate with writer Marjorie Liu to draw interiors for the "Han Solo" series.  

Mark Brooks will be back in town to meet fans at the Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention on 8 and 9 September, Marina Bay Sands Expo. Red Dot Diva got in touch with him to chat about "Han Solo", his recent projects, and his thoughts on Star Wars being a hot bed for toxic fandom.

Red Dot Diva: This will be your 2nd time back in STGCC! Are you looking forward to do anything new in Singapore?
Mark: I’m really excited to be back! The last time I was there was 6 years ago.  I loved the city and the people so it will be great to get reacquainted. Mainly, I’m looking forward to eating the amazing food and do some general exploring. I’ll be coming into town a few days early just to do that.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Welcome Comic Book Artists David Finch and Mark Brooks to STGCC 2018!


STGCC 2018 announced their first round of guests was well as opened online ticketing for the event yesterday.

Comic book artists David Finch and Mark Brooks will be meeting fans at the pop-culture event, held on 8 and 9 September at the Marina Bay Sands Expo!

David Finch started out in Top Cow Productions' "Cyberforce", working closely with creator and studio founder Marc Silvestri. After the run for "Cyberforce" ended, he created the titles "Ascension" with writer Matt "Batt" Banning, and "Aphrodite IX" with David Wohl.

In 2003, David returned to comics collaborating with Brian Michael Bendis on Marvel's "Ultimate X-Men" and "Avengers", as well as the relaunch of the superhero team called "The New Avengers". Sometime in 2010, David switched to DC Comics, providing covers for "Brightest Day" by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. He also wrote and drew for 18 issues of the "Batman: The Dark Knight" series, before moving on to "Justice League of America" and "Forever Evil".

As for comic book artist Mark Brooks, this is not his first time visiting Singapore. Mark, who has worked on various of Marvel's popular titles, like "Deadpool", "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Secret Wars", made an appearance as a guest hosted by the now-defunct Invasion! Toys, back in STGCC 2012.

His career has grown in leaps and bounds since then, with his art gracing the covers and interiors of several Star Wars comics, like "Han Solo" which was published in 2016. The limited series garnered favourable reviews and earned Mark Brooks and writer Marjorie Liu an Eisner Award nomination in 2017. Not only that, his pencil work caught the eye of Star Wars creator George Lucas, and he had requested to buy every page of the original art from the first two issues of "Han Solo"! Wowzas, right?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Diva's Reylo Fan Art Series: Rachel Xin's Unmistakably Fluid and Dynamic Art Style

OK, OK. Red Dot Diva has to confess.

She cannot get enough of Reylo.

For the uninitiated, that's the ship name for Rey and Kylo Ren - the two characters from the latest Star Wars trilogy who represent the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force. Their fateful bond and intertwining destinies have spurred the imagination of fans who dare (or dare not) hope for their romantic relationship to succeed. Who else other than Rey is able call Kylo by his real name Ben, without having him visibly scowl and flinch?

Thanks to Rian Johnson, Reylo fans were given more soul food in "The Last Jedi". After much debate, Reylo has now become canon. The sexual tension during their ForceTime together was undeniable. And ooh, those few seconds of shirtless Kylo. *fans self* Mmmm...

A deluge of Reylo fanart has been flooding social media since then, and many of them have been either tragically angsty, gleefully humourous, or simply beautifully rendered.

To keep the flame of Reylo going, Red Dot Diva will be putting up a blog series on selected artists who have produced some of the popular Reylo fan art in social media. The first in the series is an interview with USC animation department graduate, Rachel Xin.

Rachel hails from China, and before studying in USC, she was a graduate of Beijing Film Academy, majoring in Animation. She has also recently finished a freelance job at Warner Bros as a character designer. Her passion is drawing (obviously!), and she enjoys watching movies and travelling.

One just needs to take a peek at Rachel's website and social media timeline to see that her fluid, almost Chinese brush-like artistic style is obviously East Asian. Other hints include the posture and facial expression of the characters in her art.

These translate so well in her Reylo art, as Chinese love stories are usually quite tragic, and Rachel skillfully infuses that sentiment with Western pop-culture with nuanced details that are familiar to Asian fans.

It is amazing how Rachel is able to conceptualize and make these static images stick in one's visual memory. Judging by her artwork and content, Red Dot Diva is sure Rachel will go far. So, she got in touch with Rachel to find out more about her art style, her thoughts on Reylo, and her aspirations.

Red Dot Diva: How did you get into art/ illustration and animation? 
Rachel: I have been fond of drawing since I was a kid. The white wall in my house was painted to a mess by me. The good thing was that my parents never blamed me for that. Instead, they sent me to various interest classes, like piano, dancing, calligraphy and drawing. 

For a 4-year-old, these classes were pretty heavy, so I found all kinds of excuses to skip the classes. I pretended to be sick to avoid practicing piano, but I never gave up on art! From that time I knew I probably would draw for the rest of my life! I love drawing manga, watching animation and movies. I love telling stories. My parents had always been supporting me with the attitude of “do what you like”, so naturally, I chose a high school which specializes in fine arts. I went to the best film school in China to learn animation, and after that I chose to further my study in the U.S.!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Diva's Interview with Albin Johnson and R2-KT, guests of May the 4th Festival 2018


Two wonderful special guests will be celebrating Star Wars Day aka May the 4th Celebrations 2018 with the local Star Wars community in Red Dot Island next weekend. They are Albin Johnson, the founder of the international costuming group the 501st legion, and R2-KT, a compassionate yet spunky pink astromech droid who is also known as the pink beacon of hope.

Both Albin and R2-KT have made appearances in countless events through the years, especially focusing on bringing hope to seriously and terminally ill children at hospitals around the U.S.A. This time, the duo will be entering into hyperspace to visit the Red Dot Island, with a mission to bring more joy and hope to the fans and children here.

In fact, R2-KT has arrived a week early and is already on the island. She got her new power cells, oil baths, fancy polishes... basically, getting all prettied and prepped up for Star Wars Day.

Here she is, chillin' out before she charms everyone's feet off.

R2-KT holidaying in Red Dot Island (pic by Hansen Khoo)
Before it gets too wild at the May the 4th Festival next weekend, Red Dot Diva caught hold of both of them (via an efficient protocol droid through a secured channel, of course!) for a quick interview.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Meet Albin Johnson & R2-KT at Star Wars Day's May the 4th Festival 2018 in Singapore

Albin Johnson, R2-KT and some members of 501st Legion

May the 4th - the Star Wars-iest event of the year - is back. The festival is organized by Esprimo and a group of local Star Wars fans, with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board, and will be held at the F1 Pit Building on May 4th & May 5th 

Last year's May the 4th extravaganza was held at the Gardens by the Bay, which featured Disney Park's Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, as well as a scintillating Star Wars-themed light show at the Supertree Grove. If you missed the party last year, come join the fan community for a weekend of nerdy fun and camaraderie.

In fact, you might get to meet an actual movie star! The pink astromech droid R2-KT will be in Red Dot Island just for the festivities. She is already on her way here!





Monday, February 26, 2018

Adam Driver Reveals Kylo-Ren's Exercise Regiment at Q&A Session, Coronado Naval Base

One thing that stands out about the new Supreme Leader Kylo-Ren is his luscious, helmet-proof, raven-hued hair. It is the kind of hair that makes many Star Wars fans, including Red Dot Diva, to wonder - what kind of shampoo does Kylo-Ren use?

Adam Driver, the talented actor who plays Kylo-Ren with such intensity, also sports his locks long and loose most of the time. He made a rare live appearance (sans goatee!) at the "Logan Lucky" screening held at Coronado Naval Base's Lowry Theatre on 24 February 2018.

When asked about his preferred haircare product, he said, "whatever's left from the film set". Someone then suggested it was Bumble & Bumble shampoo & conditioner. So, hmmm, the Dark Side must smell really nice. *sniff sniff*

The Q&A ran longer than expected, with Adam Driver extending his allocated time slot twice, as he patiently fielded as many questions as he could from the fans. Most questions have already been asked before in various "Logan Lucky", "Paterson" and Star Wars promos leading up the release of "The Force Awakens" and "The Last Jedi", but there were a few humorous gems from Adam, who was in a very good mood that night.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Diva Meets Nicholas Buc, Conductor of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Concert (29 - 31 October 2017)


Nicholas Buc has a job that most Star Wars geeks might envy, especially if they love making music as well. A composer, arranger, conductor, violinist and pianist, Nicholas has managed to combine his love for film and music, and is one of the few conductors specializing in such live movie concerts. He also gets to travel around the world doing what he loves!


He has performed several such concerts around the world, like Harry Potter, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek and E.T. From 29 to 31 October at the Esplanade, the audience will get to see him conduct the first-ever Star Wars Symphony Orchestra Concert performed in Singapore

For this concert series, Episode VII - "The Force Awakens" (TFA) will be screened as over 70-musicians in the orchestra play the accompanying John Williams-composed soundtrack live. So, not only do Star Wars fans get to re-watch TFA again, Red Dot Diva bets all her credits that it will also be more unforgettable, communal experience.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lenovo's Star Wars Jedi Challenges Lets You Battle The Dark Side with an AR Lightsaber


Amongst all the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" toys and merchandise released during this year's Force Friday II, there was an intriguing device which was placed unobtrusively in a corner slightly away from the racks.

If the looping video ad did not happen to catch your eye, you would most probably not have known about this exciting product that will be available on sale in November 2017.

Take a look at this sleek headset and lightsaber set. Aren't they gorgeous?



These devices are part of Lenovo's soon to be released new augmented reality (AR) experience called Star Wars™: Jedi Challenges. There is the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, lightsaber controller and tracking beacon. The technological innovation was first launched at one of the world's largest tech show called IFA 2017 in Berlin.

Red Dot Diva was invited to get a first hands on experience on the Jedi Challenges gameplay at the Sandcrawler just now. No doubts about it, the AR experience was AWESOME.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

STGCC 2017: Take a Digital Tour of Star Wars Props with Stefan Cembolista of Belgian Costume Division!


Are you a Star Wars fan??

If you are, there are two main reasons for you to buy a ticket to attend STGCC tomorrow, 10 September, at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre!

Reason No. 1 - The life-sized replica of Rey's Speeder

Reason No. 2 - An iconic section of the Millennium Falcon's interior.

Both these life-sized and near-accurate replicas were made by a group of talented prop-makers and craftsmen called the Belgian Costume Division (BCD). Their models have toured around the world at conventions, particularly at the Star Wars Celebration events.

The head and founder of BCD is Stefan Cembolista, a wiry, energetic man, who is first and foremost a dedicated Star Wars fan. Stefan, who was tactically dressed in a kilt (which Red Dot Diva thought that was most swoonsome!), was on site at the convention today.

Upon Red Dot Diva's request, Stefan leapt at the chance to give a tour of both installations to the Star Wars fans out there.

Watch the video below to see what little "secrets" Stefan revealed about BCD's prop-making adventures relating to the Millennium Falcon and Rey's Speeder:



How awesome is that?

The BCD has built other Star Wars replicas like the AT-AT and Tie Fighter. Red Dot Diva hopes that the BCD crew will have the chance to bring these and showcase them in Red Dot Island too!

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Red Dot Diva's geek bro Jedd has also managed to interview Stefan Cembolista.
Read his interview here!



Friday, September 8, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Round-up and Biceps Collection from the Media Preview

STGCC, the largest Western pop-culture event of the year in Red Dot Island, will be opening its doors just a few hours away.

At the media preview which was held at Central Perk SG yesterday, ReedPop mentioned that the for its 10th Anniversary, the convention has expanded to 1 more hall, to encompass the new zones like the Good Game Experience (GGXP) and Akiba Zone, which focuses on cosplay and Japanese subculture.

For years, the "games" segment which is mentioned in the STGCC brand name, has been notably absent. With the GGXP area, the organizers making their bid to get the industry back into the fold. Within the area, fans can try their hands on games developed by local and regional publishers, including titles like Pokemon Trading Card Game as well as other card, computer, mobile phone games as well as immersive VR experiences. There will also be a few hardcofe esports tournaments held live there.

The show's floor plan is also heavily segmented into different types, with attendees getting hit with "retail therapy" first before they arrive at the Star Wars "Experience The Force" section, main stage and Artist Alley area. Certain parts of the show are only available to fans depending on the types of tickets they purchase. Hopefully, this will allow fans to maximize their different enjoyment at STGCC, depending on their interests.

A post shared by Red Dot Diva (@reddotdiva) on

On site to meet the invited media at the preview yesterday were several STGCC featured guests. Popular comic book artist Frank Cho had many of the media folks and fellow guests gushing over how his creative works had inspired them. To have him at STGCC may be the one and only chance that some of the local and regional fans will be able to meet him in person.

There were also loud cheers for 3x Eisner Award winner, Sonny Liew. Yes, Red Dot Diva fangirl-screamed as well.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Experience the Force at Orchard Road Feels Like a Star Wars Impersonator


After the scintillating May the 4th celebration that was held at Gardens by the Bay, Red Dot Diva found it difficult not to feel disappointed about the "Experience the Force" at Orchard Road. She certainly did not feel much of the Force, and is pretty sure many Star Wars fans feel the same way.


Despite having a larger scale of pop-up activities compared to previous Force Friday events, most of the booths in the stretch felt flat. It was as if the First Order had given up hope after Starkiller Base blew up, and decide to get drunk at a Mos Eisley bar. Heck, it might even be more fun to be at a Mos Eisley cantina, but more on that later.

Here are the two main activities that Red Dot Diva thought did not make the mark.


DO OR DON'T DO, THERE IS NO TRY

1. "Millennium Falcon"
Red Dot Diva took pics of the set up the day before, curious about what this "Millennium Falcon Replica" looked like. At that time, the size of the model was not revealed. When she finally found where it was located and saw the set up, she felt terribly disappointed.

Seriously??!

It was very small (website later announces that it's a 1/6th scale), made only of cardboard with custom printed paper wrap, and mounted on a few weird ugly black pedestals. It looked like somebody without thumbs decided to indulge himself in a low cost art and craft project. Those pedestals were fully blacked out later on.

Not surprisingly, there have been many fans who have seen it, now call this the "Pizza Box Millennium Falcon".

Thursday, August 17, 2017

10 Days of Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore Festivities at Orchard Road and STGCC 2017 (1 September to 10 September, 2017)!


From 1 September to 8 September 2017, Orchard Road becomes part of the galaxy far far away, as it kicks off a 10-day festival called "Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore".

1 September is also Force Friday II, a global event when the launch of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" toys and merchandise will be celebrated by fans all over the world. If the first Force Friday in 2015 was any indication, there should be a lot of social media interaction around the globe, as toys are unboxed and fan reactions are shared live. Disney promises that this year's event will be an even more unique experience for the fans, with the use of new technology and more immersive ways to bring the Star Wars universe to life.

Local Star Wars fans will not be not left out either. At ION Basement 4, new items will be released at the stroke of midnight on 1 September (Friday). If you are all out to get the latest stuff, get prepared for a small crowd lining up for the unveiling. So be there early!

The Star Wars festivities at ION Orchard are Free of Charge, and will lead on to even more fun activities held during pop-culture convention, STGCC (9 & 10 September). The entire festival is organised by ReedPOP and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia, with event partner ION Orchard, and the support of the Singapore Tourism Board.

So what can fans expect during the 10 glorious days of "Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore"?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the 4th 2017: Special Greeting from Ray Park for Star Wars Fans in Singapore

Pic from Ray Park's Twitter
Even though his moments as Darth Maul were quite short in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace", a heavily made-up Ray Park owned and stole those scenes with his graceful, acrobatic wuxia-style stunt moves wielding the Sith Lord's iconic double-blade lightsaber. And with those few minutes, he earned himself gazillions of fans across the globe.

He has since acted in "X-Men", two G.I. Jones movies, in TV series "Heroes" amongst many other productions.

Red Dot Diva has a huge huge crush on Ray Park ever since she saw him in Episode I, and she was over the moon when she found out that he will be attending Star Wars Celebration Europe, held in London last year. Of course she had to get the photo and autoraph ops with Ray!

The actor is super-friendly to his hoard of fans, and he interacts with the RP Fandom regularly on Twitter and Instagram.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May the 4th 2017: Meet Lightsaber Wielding Mint Kang from Fightsaber Singapore

Fighting like a girl can be awesome, especially if you are wielding a lightsaber!

Mint Kang can count that as one of her skills as she performs choreographed Star Wars-themed lightsaber fight scenes on stage and at events about twice a year as part of the Fightsaber team.

Fightsaber is a not for profit Star Wars lightsaber performance and costuming organisation founded by Grand Master Sas-Ejiid aka Azmi Danuri, a passionate and long time Star Wars fan who also loves sword fighting. Mint Kang joined the group since 2012.

Red Dot Diva is curious about what it's like to spar with both Jedi and Sith, so she asked Mint Kang many nosy questions!

Red Dot Diva: Is your name really Mint?
Ming Kang (MK): Yes, my name actually is Mint. :p  I started using an English name a long time ago because when I first started working, overseas clients couldn't pronounce my Chinese name. It stuck (occasionally I do regret it).

Mint looking Sithfully Fierce! (Photo by Xiang Hao - Facebook - 500px)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May the 4th 2017: Celebrate 40 Years of Star Wars at the Fan Zone, Gardens by the Bay!



It's the 40th year of Star Wars, and there is a grand official festival taking place at Gardens by the Bay, but in Red Dot Diva's opinion, nothing beats celebrating Star Wars with the fan community.

Last year's May the 4th celebration at Kallang Wave was a fantastic, heartwarming weekend affair, with Star Wars fans of all ages coming together. Many of whom were decked out in costumes of their favourite characters.

Thanks to a bunch of hardworking, dedicated Star Wars fans - including members of 501st Legion SG, Rebel Legion, Fightsaber and Suhaimi's Gulliver's Chronicles - there is a chance to interact again with the local community again this year! The totally fan-led event called the Star Wars Fanzone will take place at the Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay from May the 4th to 6th, 2017, which is the same venue as the official one organized by Disney and Esprimo.

So, what can one expect at the Star Wars Fanzone?

LOTS!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Glitzy 3-Day Celebration for Star Wars May the 4th 2017 at Gardens by the Bay



Local Star Wars fans would have already been aware or signed up for the first Star Wars Run held on May 6th organized by sports event management company, Esprimo.

In addition to the themed run, the company has also collaborated with the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to make this year's May The 4th celebration into a three-day festival at Gardens by the Bay's Supertree Grove.

The galactic shindig kicks off on Thursday May 4th with appearances of Chewbacca and Kylo-Ren, a SaberTrees Light-up of the supertrees as well as the specially choreographed Garden Rhapsody Star Wars Edition light show set to the movie franchise's iconic soundtrack.

A replica of the two-legged All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) will also be standing guard at the Supertree Grove. This should be a great photo opportunity for any Star Wars fans, especially if you are dressed for the occasion!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

HBO Asia Premieres Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Documentary "Bright Lights" 8 January, 9 AM


It has been a difficult holiday season for Star Wars fans with the passing away of Carrie Fisher on 27 December 2016. She was well-loved and admired for her roles as Princess/ General Leia in the Star Wars movies, and her death was unexpected.

Worse still, a day later, her 84-year-old mother and Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, passed away of a suspected stroke. The two women live next door to each other and were very close.

According to Carrie Fisher's brother Todd Fisher, his mother had said that "she really wanted to be with Carrie" just before she died. Debbie Reynolds is best remembered singing and dancing beside A-listers Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in the movie musical "Singing in the Rain".

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In Tribute to our Princess, our General - Carrie Fisher (1956 - 2016)

In this personal tribute, Red Dot Diva speaks of what Carrie Fisher means to her.

---------------------------

Carrie Fisher died on my birthday.

From now on, I will always be celebrating my life while remembering hers. Such is the bittersweet cycle of life, and how different lives connect with each other in different ways. Like many in the Star Wars community, I will miss her dearly.

I first saw 19-year-old Carrie Fisher on screen at the old Odeon movie theatre when I was 10 years old. My grandmother, mother and aunty were movie fans, but for them, they relished in the sad weepy Chinese black and whites, where almost every woman character in those 1.5 hours were put through all sorts of tragedies in life. I sat through many of such movies. While my mom or grandma would whip out tissue after tissue to wipe their overflowing tears, I sat there perched in between them feeling utterly bored, and absolutely bewildered on how helpless or hopeless these women characters were.

Why can't they take charge and do something? Does only crying, looking limpid and being tragic help live life in any way? Yes, my head ruled my heart even at that young age. That Chinese notion of "Fate" was also what I often fought against. In some ways, I felt that you could at least attempt to challenge Fate right in her face.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Photo Post: Vivocity's Launch of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" Activity Area

Vivocity's ground level atrium has gone "rogue"!

The mall is currently hosting a "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" display and activity area, featuring a 8-metre tall AT-ACT and life-sized Death Troopers.

Lady Raine and kampongchicken, both Red Dot Diva's friends who happen to own rather peculiar handles, were on site at the launch yesterday (29 November 2016) evening. The opening ceremony was also graced by the presence of the folks from 501st Legion SG, Cathar Rebel Base and FightSaber!

Here is a quick photo preview of what you can expect when you visit Vivocity from now till 18 December. The towering AT-ACT is gigantic!!

Imperial forces gathered around the AT-ACT, awaiting deployment.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Join the Rebellion or The Empire at Vivocity's "Rogue One" Interactive Event - 28 November to 18 December 2016

Scan of article by my friend, Leonard!

The latest battle between the Rebellion and the Empire is coming soon, and Star Wars can be a part of it at Vivocity's Central Court B, Level 1 from 28 November to 18 December 2016!

The mall is hosting an interactive event leading up to the premiere of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story". According to a full-page ad published in The Sunday Times' Life Section (dated 27 November 2016), there will a list of very fun and immersive activities in store!

1. Ogle at a 8-metre tall AT-AT Walker at the event.
Red Dot Diva is not sure if it's a similar At-At that she saw at Star Wars Celebration Europe. However, since this is to promote "Rogue One", it would most likely be the version of all-terrain vehicle was shown in the movie's trailer, which are "not, technically, AT-ATs" as tweeted by Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo. They are AT-ACTs, which are larger and used for transporting heavy equipment or ammunition.

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