Saturday, July 25, 2020

SDCC 2020: Comic Con@Home Roundup of Star Trek Universe Panel

It is disappointing but also not unexpected when the nerdvana of all nerdvanas, aka San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), was cancelled this year.

Postponing the physical event to 2021 was the wisest thing to do as most of us are trying hard to keep ourselves and our families safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The risk of getting infected or infecting others in such a large scale event, where attendees are oftentimes stumbling along the convention halls in a human crush, was simply too high.

To help soothe our souls, Comic-Con International planned for a safer option - a virtual event held on the same weekend called Comic-Con@Home. Unlike the ticketed physical event, Comic-Con@Home is free for everyone. which made it a great opportunity for casual geeks and international fans to get a taste of what SDCC is like. Best of all, there are no long waiting lines or overnight Hall H campouts necessary!

Just like SDCC, Comic-Con@Home has an array of online panels ranging from discussions about indie publishing, cosplay and representation in comics, to updates of the upcoming seasons of show favourites like The Walking Dead, Star Wars and What We Do In The Shadows. It might be hard to choose which panel you would want to “attend”, but not to worry - the panels have all been pre-recorded. So, after they have been launched on Youtube, you can watch as many as you like whenever you have time to catch up!

Despite of that option, Red Dot Diva stayed up past midnight on Day 1 to get the feel of excitement of “attending” Comic-Con@Home, and to watch the virtual panel on CBS All Access' Star Trek Universe, moderated by Dominic Patten, senior editor of Deadline.

Here's the roundup of what happened during the lively panel.


Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman mentioned that there will be 10 episodes for the new Star Trek: New Worlds, a series set on Captain Pike's (the yummy fan favourite Anson Mount) ship - the USS Enterprise. In fact, there had been active conversions about the new series since last year's Comic-Con, but nothing could be said at that point.

It was one of those shows that I think everybody came in with such enthusiasm and so much love,” Kurtzman added.

Heather Kadin, Executive Producer, then revealed the official title of the animated series they are currently working on with Nickelodeon. The all-animated series targetted for kids will be called Star Trek: Prodigy. The series showrunners will be Kevin and Dan Hageman, and it has already received a two-season order from Nickelodeon.


Star Trek: Discovery's co-showrunner and Executive Producer Michelle Paradise gave a short introduction this segment, which features many of the Season 2 finale cast members, including the radiant lead actor Sonequa Martin Green (Commander Michael Burnam), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), just to name a few.

Director of the Season 2 finale Olatunde Osunsanmi, who also directed the season two finale, then lead the cast in a table read of Act 1 of the finale “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2”. What made the read really interesting was watching the cast deliver their lines, many of them who were very invested in their characters, interspersed with original storyboards and VFX renders, including the scene when Burnam puts on the Red Angel suit, and the space battle with the enemy drones swarming everywhere. So awesome.

After the table read, the cast answered a few questions, including the one about Burnam's fate and her hopes in Season 3. (To recap, USS Discovery went into a wormhole, and has been hurtled 950 years into the future in the Season 2 finale.)

We, the crew, of Star Trek Discovery, have decided to sacrifice everything for the future and there's that obvious hope that that worked. That the plan works. And even logistically, that we land where we're supposed to. That we defeat Control. That we saved the world, and saved the universe, so there's the inherent hope of that,” said Sonequa Martin-Green. And then, there's also a hope of continuing to discover myself as Burnam. That will always be there. That hope of unveiling, continual unveiling. And finding that sweet, sweet balance between all the forces that wage within me.

Doug Jones answered the question about Saru's difficult decision to leave his family again for the second time, and whether we will get to see more Kelpians in the Federation.

... so after liberating his people, feeling great about the future the Kelpians can have now, living in peace with the Ba'ul. It was a peaceful resolve, and now they can absorb each other's culture and technology. Now, he's made the decision to follow Burnam into the wormhole with the crew to the future, and he had to leave everything behind again. But, in those final moments, he saw his sister Siranna is piloting a fighter ship, and it was like, I guess it works! The Kelpians have joined the post-war society and he feels good about that, and yes, with every hope, jumping ahead that Kelpians will have a place in the table in the Federation for sure.

There was also discussion about what's Philippa Georgiou's attitude in being flung into the future (“I think she's really pissed off!” according to Michelle Yeoh), and the evolving relationship between Stamets and Dr Culber (“it is more on an equal footing, I think,” Wilson Cruz said).

Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery has also paved the way for the new series called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds about the beloved USS Enterprise, bringing most fans into the timeline that they are familiar with.

... when you see how it's gonna end and that it is not so pretty, you know what do you do with that?”  Anson Mount, on Captain Pike having seen his own sad fate. “I think he's going to wrestle with how best he can utilise the rest of his life for the good for the world, the universe.


Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated series about the support crew of USS Cerritos, a ship that is marked for 'Second Contact'. The best thing that came out from this segment was when creator and showrunner Mike McMahan gave fans a screening of the opening scenes of the series' first episode.

The teaser introduced audiences to young eager-beaver Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) and rowdy Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), which ended up with Boimler getting bloody and badly injured by a bat'leth.

The fast dialogue and dark humour was so fun to watch. Red Dot Diva is definitely putting this on her watchlist!

Check out the clip below:

... she doesn't always play by the rules even though she could, says Newsome about her character Ensign Beckett Mariner.

Quaid describes his character Ensign Brad Boimler as 'the ultimate Starfleet nerd'. “He's the complete fanboy for all the captains and the first officers, basically anyone who works on the bridge. And he wants to be like them so bad that he is obsessed with rank and ranking up.”

Other voice actors include Noel Wells (Ensign Tendi), Eugene Cordero (Ensign Rutherford), Dawnn Lewis (Captain Carol Freeman), and Jerry O'Connell (Commander Jack Ransom). Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres on CBS All Access on August 6th.


The Star Trek: Picard panel was particularly amusing, in that Sir Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) confessed that his greatest challenge was trying to remember the names of the younger and newer cast members. Old time colleague Martina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) mercilessly ragged on Sir Patrick and said, “we allow for that, because you are very old.”

And then Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati) said that she was attracted to the role because of S.P.S. When there was hardly a reaction from Sir Patrick to her statement because he did not know what S.P.S. meant, she declared, “That's you, Patrick. You're S.P.S.! The first S. is your knighthood.”

Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker) added later on,  “I, like the rest of us, the first meeting with S.P.S. .. it's pretty, er.. it's intimidating.” All these comments about working with the well-respected Sir Patrick was making Martina Sirtis quite horrified. “Stop it all you guys. He's going to be unbearable!” she yelled jokingly, as Sir Patrick guffawed in the background.

I can't believe we are calling you that now,” Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) chuckled.

Later on the segment, Sir Patrick quietly said that he much preferred the moniker PStew, and the crew said in agreement, PStew is good! PStew, it is!

Martina Sirtis also had sweet words to say to Jonathan Del Arco regarding the return of Hugh. “You were special. When you came on the show, it was a really special episode and the fans loved you, and of course they are going to bring you back when there's a Borg story. Because you're it. You and Jeri.” 

The camaraderie was so adorable to watch.

If you want to watch the entire Star Trek Universe virtual panel in full, click to this Youtube link!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Red Dot Diva Announces Local Writer Wayne Rée as Guest for Second Facebook Livestream

Last month, in an era where most people are staying at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Dot Diva decided to launch a Facebook livestream, hosting a zine launch party with local writer Joelyn Alexandra.

The live event turned out to be more fun and interactive than expected, as their friends joined the two online discussing about Joelyn's new “UNSTABLE UNIVERSE”, a fictional world that is set to expand from the graphic novel UNSTABLE FOUNDATIONS, published by COSH Studios in 2019. There were hiccups like awkward sound echos, and ‘uh-oh where did Joelyn disappear to’ moments, but the live session felt casual and cosy, as if a bunch of friends dropped by to yak about geeky stuff.

For the second installment of Live with Red Dot Diva, she has roped in fictional writer Wayne Rée, to talk about “HORRORS, REAL AND OTHERWISE”.

Wayne Rée has a knack for writing short stories that will haunt one's mind for days. His originality shines in the anthology book TALES FROM A TINY ROOM, a collection of fantastical stories with a suspenseful twist or two. He is also the co-creator of the the supernatural/ martial arts comic book MR MEMPHIS, a collaboration with Charsiew Space, whose fluid and entertaining wuxia-inspired artwork makes the tale even more memorable. Wayne's other works can be found in LONTAR, the audio narrative GHOST MAPS, and the science fiction zine INFINITE WORLDS #3 (available for pre-order here).

In the “HORRORS, REAL AND OTHERWISE” livestream, Red Dot Diva and Wayne Rée will talk about the horror genre, writing horror stories as well as the real life horrors that has happened in the comics community. Recently, the community's own #MeToo moment has brought the issues of sexual harassment and abuse to light in a highly prominent manner. Red Dot Diva feels that it is also time to talk about this issue within the local context.

So, do join us for an hour of bone-chilling chatter for the next Live with Red Dot Diva session.

DATE: 25 July 2020, Saturday

TIME: 1 PM, Singapore Time (GMT +8)


For more information on Wayne Rée, check out his website at, and subscribe to his newsletter!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Diva's Reylo Fan Art Series: Cody Customises Amazing Adam Driver Character Funko Toys

For the next artist in the Reylo Fan Art Series, Red Dot Diva is shining the spotlight on Cody (aka leiaporgana on Twitter), a major Star Wars fan who also customises Funko Toys with an uncanny likeness to Adam Driver and the various characters he has played in his illuminating career.

Cody is from America but she has been living in the UK for the past 7+ years. She has just quit her PhD in Victorian medical history, and then the COVID-19 pandemic struck limiting her job options. While waiting for the situation to improve, Cody began doing freelance art and creating Funko customisations.

Red Dot Diva got to know about Cody's amazing craftwork after spotting a photo of a Ben Solo Funko on her Twitter feed. She had been looking for more “good boy sweater” Ben Solo fanart after watching STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.

(Minor RDD rant here. Seriously, Disney... how could you even miss out on the merchandising opportunities for Ben Solo? The redeemed Ben Solo character is so popular, and there is no merchandise available in the market!)

Besides Star Wars, Cody's other fandoms include The 100, and Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. When she is not holed up indoors creating something new, Cody likes collecting autographs, hiking, and rock climbing.

Adam Driver

Red Dot Diva is curious about the art of customising Funko toys, so she asked Cody a series of nosy questions!

Red Dot Diva: I see from your Esty store that you draw beautiful fan art too! How long have you been drawing these art of pop culture characters, and who are your artistic inspirations?
Cody: Thank you for the kind words! I've been drawing art from pop culture for as long as I can remember, to be honest! I used to draw art from A Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter when I was a kid and that morphed into me drawing scenes that I wished happened in the books. I haven't really changed all that much. I don't have just one inspiration - it sort of changes daily. Any time someone shares their artwork online, they're an inspiration. But I used to read the webcomic The Dreamer by Lora Innes so if I had to pick one artist that really inspired me, it has to be her. 

Red Dot Diva: What first inspired you to start customising Funko dolls? Were you already a hardcore collector of Funkos then? Did you learn this craft from someone else? 
Cody: I love Funkos, but I wasn't a hardcore collector. I just really wanted to make a Funko of a book character that would 100% never get a Funko made of him. So I looked at a few guides and Facebook groups, but there's really no steadfast way to make customs and there's certainly not a Funko Making For Dummies guide so it as mostly trial and error. Once I had a rough idea, I just went for it and it actually came out half-decent so I decided to make another. 

Eli Vanto and Thrawn

Red Dot Diva: What is your creative process like when customising these figures? Where do you get the parts from? I'm not familiar with the world of Funko customisation, so this is all intriguing to me. 
Cody: I probably do it a bit differently to a lot of people, but I like using as many genuine custom parts as I can. I'm okay with using clay, but I'd rather sand down an existing part than use clay to sculpt an original part because I don't trust myself to sculpt a passable arm or a hand when I have a deadline to meet. So my custom Ben Solo Funko, for example, consists of 4 different original Funkos that I cut up and sort of Frankenstein together. So I use arms from one Funko, a lightsaber from another, a torso from another, and a head from another. I glue them together, prime it all, make sure it's smooth enough to paint over and then I begin the painting process. I buy the Funko parts off of Facebook, eBay, Pop in a box, or Amazon - whichever is cheapest. Most of the creating process is just me scouring the internet for decent deals or for parts that resemble the item of clothing I'm trying to create. 
Red Dot Diva: That's pretty amazing!

Redeemed Ben Solo

Red Dot Diva: What are the challenges that you face customising these figures? Especially for the adorable good boy sweater Ben Solo ones!
Cody: The biggest challenge for customising is finding the right Funko parts and making sure they're affordable. Like for Ben, I want to use an unmasked Kylo's head to make sure that he looks as much like Adam Driver as possible. And this way he has the right eyes, the right hair, the right eyebrows. But the problem is that all of the unmasked Kylo Ren official Funkos that I use for the head are going up in price because The Rise of Skywalker hasn't released a second wave of Funko Pops yet and everyone wants a Kylo Funko without a mask. So this part that I used to be able to get for £10-15 is now going for £20-30 minimum and I am making less and less of a profit. I don't want to raise the price because he's already expensive, but at this point I'm not left with much choice. 

Matt the Radar Technician
Red Dot Diva: Which is your favourite customised Funko toy?
Cody: It's a tie between my Ben Solo and my Matt the Radar Technician which is still very much a work-in-progress, but he'll be available on my Etsy soon! 

Red Dot Diva: How much of a Star Wars fan are you? 
Cody: Oh, huge. I have 3 Star Wars tattoos so far and my main hobby outside of art is collecting Star Wars autographs. And if I'm not actively doing anything, there's a good chance I'm reading a Star Wars book or some Star Wars fanfic. 


Red Dot Diva: What is it about the Reylo that draws you to the ship? 
Cody: I've always been a fan of enemies to lovers. More specifically when one character is clearly on the good side and the other is on the bad side. It's a dynamic I've always enjoyed and seeing the 'good' character's morality slip a bit while the 'bad' character's world view shifts because of the good character...good stuff right there. It's a fascinating trope since it really requires a lot of development and it challenges the characters in the most interesting ways. 

Red Dot Diva: Do you think that the Reylos have been constantly misunderstood within the Star Wars fandom?
Cody: Yes x1000. I've never seen a fandom treated as poorly as the Reylo fandom. There are so many defamatory statements and generalisations made about a really large section of the Star Wars fandom. And unfortunately most of the arguments boil down to a lack of support of women in fandom, viewing them as hysterical and less intelligent when they're focusing on a romantic relationship. There's a lot to unpack there. But I hope that time will be kinder to the Reylo fandom the Star Wars fandom will evolve. 

Red Dot Diva: What are your other favourite pop-culture ships? I have many too!
Cody: My other favourite ships would have to be Bellarke (Bellamy/Clarke from The 100), Clexa (Clarke/Lexa from The 100), and Rebelcaptain (Jyn/Cassian from Rogue One). 

Charlie Barber from "Marriage Story"

Are you tempted to get your hands on one of Cody's customised Funko toys and beautiful fan art now? Head to her Etsy shop to purchase one of your own! She is also currently open for commissions. You can DM her on Twitter or email if you're interested! Red Dot Diva is on the bandwagon, and working on saving enough money for her own customised Ben Solo Funko toy!


Other articles from the Diva's Reylo Fan Art Series:

* Interview with Rachel Xin
* Interview with Afterblossom (Kelly)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pennyworth Premieres on Warner TV Asia, 29 June and It's A Wierd Ride in an Alternate Bat-verse

It has taken almost a year for the TV series “PENNYWORTH” to be (legally) available to fans in this region. Finally, the show about the origin story of DC's Universe iconic and beloeved butler of Wayne Manor, Alfred Pennyworth, will premiere on Warner TV (Starhub Channel 515/ Singtel Channel 306) on 29 June at 9 PM SG Time. Season 1 has 10 episodes, with new episodes on air, every Monday at 9 PM SG Time.

The “PENNYWORTH” series is kind of a prequel for the Alfred of the DC comics. A much younger Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) in his mid-20's is back home after serving in the British SAS for 10 years. To set himself for a better future, ‘Alfie’ decided to form a security company together with his soldier buddies Bazza (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett) and Dave Boy (Ryan Fletcher), while also working as a bouncer at the Golden Slipper nightclub.

Red Dot Diva thinks this backstory about Alfred is such an awesome nod to the popular incarnation of Alfred played by Sir Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan's Bat-verse. Actor Jack Bannon even imbued his version of Alfred with Caine's trademark Cockney accent and easy charm.

What stands out in a striking fashion in “PENNYWORTH”, is the era in which the series is set in. It is the Swinging 60's London, but with a very violent, macabre edge. Public punishment is carried out openly in the streets, with criminals locked in stocks and pillories for all to see. Citizens eagerly tune on the telly to gawk at gruesome public executions. It is like a comic bookish Gotham-esque version of London, but with all the trademark British politeness, stiff upper lips, and of course, tea.

Not surprisingly, the threesome Alfie, Bazza and Dave Boy, suffer from varying degrees of PTSD after having been in the Queen's Service. They each have to learn how to deal with their own personal nightmares, and how violence has become an inescapable part of their lives.

As the story unfolds, Pennyworth gets to know young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and spunky Martha Kane (Emma Paetz). The two have yet to become the famous Wayne couple of the Batman comics, and in the series, they work for a left-wing organisation called the No Name League, the rivals of another secret group called the Raven Society. Both factions are vying for control of power in the current government.

Produced by Bruno Heller (Gotham, The Mentalist, Rome) and Danny Cannon (Gotham, CSI series), there is a lot to like in “PENNYWORTH”. Other than the affable Pennyworth, there are also the spirited Sykes sisters - the sadistic, psychopathic Bet (so wonderfully portrayed by Paloma Smith) and her resourceful, dominatrix sister Peggy (Polly Walker). The siblings bring such gleeful wicked villainy to the episodes.

To get a peek of what's in store for this intriguing series, here are the synopsis of the first four episodes of “PENNYWORTH”:

Episode 1: “Pilot”
Debut date: Monday, 29 June at 9pm on Warner TV

In the series premiere, security consultant/bouncer Alfred meets Thomas Wayne and Esme Winikus (Emma Corrin), an actress/dancer at the Golden Slipper nightclub that employs him. In a much darker part of London, Lord Harwood (Jason Flemyng), leader of the Raven Society, is having a man tortured for a name. Courting Esme, Alfred brings her home to meet his doting mother and often-disapproving father (Dorothy Atkinson and Ian Puleston-Davies), but the night ends in disaster when Esme is brazenly kidnapped by Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith). Working for Harwood, Sykes offers to trade Esme for Thomas Wayne. When Alfred is betrayed in the exchange, he and Thomas realize that Harwood and Sykes cannot be trusted, and that they'll have to work together to rescue Esme.

Episode 2: “The Landlord's Daughter”
Debut date: Monday, 6 July at 9pm on Warner TV
After fate dragged Alfred and Esme into a plot against the government, they escape relatively unscathed and decide to get engaged, despite their ups and downs. While Lord Harwood is arrested and tortured mentally and physically in the Tower, his lethal operative Bet Sykes takes the fall for the murder of Lord Fairfax and is sentenced to execution in Tyburn. But Bet gets some help from her older sister, Peggy (Polly Walker).

Episode 3: “Martha Kane”
Debut date: Monday, 13 July at 9pm on Warner TV
After meeting Esme's wealthy family, Alfred calls off the wedding. Burying his heartbreak in smalltime work, Alfred accepts a high-paying, seemingly low-profile job from American heiress Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) to transport a scientist out of the country. But the job is complicated by Raven Society gunmen. When the dust settles, Martha reveals that she has been working for the No Names. She agrees to not deceive him again, if he agrees to work freelance only for her - that way, he's not pledging his loyalty to one side or another. Desperate to reunite with Esme and finance a better life for her, he somewhat reluctantly agrees.

Episode 4: “Lady Penelope”
Debut date: Monday, 20 July at 9pm on Warner TV
When Inspector Aziz (Ramon Tikaram) from Scotland Yard offers Alfred a job, he abruptly refuses, but feels guilty for working with Martha Kane and the No Names. Meanwhile, Thomas Wayne meets Martha for the first time as the designated leader of her No Name cell. He assigns her and Alfred a dangerous mission – to uncover the new leader of the Raven Society, who’s been betrayed by an informant. Although Martha and Alfred bond during the mission, tragedy strikes when Alfred returns to London.


WTV - Pennyworth from WarnerMediaAsiaPac on Vimeo.

PENNYWORTH” is a great expansion of the DC Universe, with some unexpected twists and turns. The series has already been renewed for Season 2, and has added new cast members including James Purefoy, Edward Hogg, Jessye Romeo, Ramon Tikaram and Harriet Slater. Production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but hopefully, fans will get more news about the next season during the upcoming DC FanDome in August 2020!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Diva Goes Behind the Scenes with LukeForever, the Producer of Legend of Hope - A Star Wars Fan Film

LEGEND OF HOPE - A STAR WARS FAN FILM, which was released during this year's May the 4th celebration, is one of the best local fan-made creation that Red Dot Diva has seen this year. Considering that 2020 is mostly cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic,  LEGEND OF HOPE was such a joy to watch. It is a timely gift, for an unusual era when people around the world are feeling discombobulated with lockdowns and restrictions.

Set in the forests of Kashyyyk after the execution of Order 66, the short 20-minute drama featured scowling villains, cheeky humour, intense light-saber duels, a fearless female resistance fighter, and more importantly, that stirring promise of Hope to fight for another day. And when it expands the Star Wars Universe to include Singlish-speaking Jedi -- lagi best.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

DC FanDome Is A 24-Hour Global Virtual Event Specially For The Fans!

Set your calendars for DC FanDome!

This mega, immersive, 24-hour virtual global fan event by Warner Bros. is set to kick-off on August 22 (that is, Sunday August 23, starting at 1 AM Singapore time).  It will cost nothing for the fans to step into the multiverse of DC's Super Heroes and Super-Villains from past, present and futures shows. There will be no queues, no badges required, and best of all, no heartattack-inducing hotelapocalypse!

Everything will happen at, with exciting announcements on WB's game, film and TV properties, plus a chance to watch the cast, creators and those from behind the scenes who have worked in various comics, movies and TV series share about their experiences.

Some of the titles that will be featured at DC FanDome are:

Man of Steel
Birds of Prey

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Red Dot Diva Kicks Off Facebook Livestream - Launch Party of Unstable Directions with Joelyn Alexandra!

Red Dot Diva is excited to kick off her first livestream, which will be hosted on her Facebook page on 27 June, at 1 PM Singapore time.

The “Uncovering Unstable Universes” livestream event is a launch party for a new zine called UNSTABLE DIRECTIONS by local writer Joelyn Alexandra.

Joelyn writes mainly urban fiction, and her stories have been published by Two Trees, Math Paper Press, Ethos Books, and Buku Fixi. She also managed her own self-published indie zine, Pulp Toast, with saw a run of 4 issues that contained "snackable stories" about gaming, non-heroes, and the human condition. She has also participated in talks and writing workshops at various events, including Singapore Writers Festival, Read! Fest 2018, All In! Young Writers Festival, and Singapore Comic Con.

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