Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - Q&A With Thai Award-Winning Manga Artist Prema-Ja

Thai artist and animator Prema Jatukanyaprateep - more commonly known by her pen name Prema-Ja - will be coming to Red Dot Island this December as one of the guests of popculture convention, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019.

In 2014, BOKBIG, her manga about a boy and his mischievous pet dog, beat 256 entries and won the 2014 Gold Award at the International Manga Award in Japan.

Prema-Ja's cheerful, colourful and fun artwork has been featured in children's books as well. Go take a look at her her social media accounts, where she has posted an imaginative take on Inktober with a series of wonderful mermaid drawings, and you will see what Red Dot Diva is talking about!

Red Dot Diva: What got you interested and passionate about animation art?
Prema-Ja: I think it is about the storytelling. When start working on my art projects - beside beautiful pictures, I try to focus on the story in the work. And I love telling a story so the animation art and also comic art serves my intention.

Red Dot Diva: Who are your favourite artists, and why?
Prema-Ja: Amano Yoshitaka, a Japanese artist. His style is unique. The ambiance in his work, mysterious and brimming with fantasy, fascinates me. Another one is Beatrix Potter, an English artist. I love how she draws humanoid animals characters. They are so attractive.



Red Dot Diva: Which animation movies or shows made you go... "Wow!!"? Did you watch them over and over again to learn what made these shows special?
Prema-Ja: “Up” an animated feature film directed by Pete Docter (Pixar Animation). I remember the first time I watched it was French dubbed. Even though I was not able to understand the language, the animation made me cry a lot from the beginning until the end of the movie. The story is so touching, with a beautiful feeling.

Red Dot Diva: Where did you get your ideas for BokBig?
Prema-Ja: In the illustration class when I was at university. There was an assignment to make a comic about ourselves. So I picked up the story of me and my dog. His name was Bokbig.

Red Dot Diva: What were your first feelings and thoughts when you won the Gold Award at the 7th International MANGA Award for Bokbig?
Prema-Ja: It was unbelievable. I never thought I would win this international award. I felt I have achieved one goal of my dreams.

Red Dot Diva: Are there any projects which you wish you could do?
Prema-Ja: Yes, a comic about my cats. Now I am a mother of 3 cats.

Red Dot Diva: We are eager to meet you at Singapore Comic Con. Let us know what we can expect when we say hi to you at your booth.
Prema-Ja: It will be my first time as a guest artist in Singapore. Actually, the first time in foreign country. I am so excited. My English is not very good, but please feel free to stop by and say Hello. I will bring some prints and zines there. The details will be updated nearly the date of the event on my twitter account. See you there!


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RELATED SGCC 2019 ARTICLES


Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 - David Mack Returns, Lineup Includes Jim Mahfood, John Layman, Tik Ka and Koh Hong Teng

Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019: More Guests Announced - Sarah Andersen, Fishball, Donny Cates and Yasmine Putri 

Singapore Comic Con 2019 - Livio Ramondelli, Joey Spiotto, Creees, Prema-Ja and Cosplayer Jin Join the Guest List

Singapore Comic Con 2019 Announces Greg Capullo, Jock and Tara McPherson as Guests, But No More VIP Tickets! 

Rebranded Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) Shifts Dates to 7 & 8 Dec 2019!






Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Cartoons Underground 2019 (9 November 2019) Shines Spotlight on Women Animators


Animation movies are more than just Disney princesses and a bunch of talking toys. To get familiar with the sheer variety of topics and directorial styles, head down to Cartoons Underground 2019, Asia's leading indie animation festival, at Kult Yard, 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace next Saturday, 9 November, 6PM to 11PM.

The Cartoons Underground festival began in 2012, by founders Patrick Smith, Director of MTV Daria, and Vicky Chen. This will be the event's 8th year celebrating the visual wonders of animation films.

There was a record-breaking 1,416 entries from all around the world, as film makers vie for a spot in the festival's screening schedule, as well as to compete at the coveted Golden Durian Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Student Film and Audience Choice Award. After much deliberation, 19 short films were selected for screening by Cartoons Underground's Programming Director and recent Singapore Young Artist Recipient Tan Wei Keong.

Some of these entries have won awards at Ottawa Animation Festival, Zagreb Animation Festival and Edinburgh international film festivals. 13 of these films showcased during the event are by women directors.

This year's Cartoons Underground shines the spotlight on women filmmakers, and includes a special programme by female animators. Also, women creators are strongly represented in the shortlist for the CU International Prize, as well as in the line-up, which features many Singapore-based animation students for the very first time.

The Golden Durian Awards lists award-winning artist and writer Sonny Liew, former CU ‘Audience Choice’ winner Enge Hue, and Professor at NTU ADM Davide Benvenuti as judges. “Cartoons Underground plays a vital role not just in Singapore’s animation scene but for the whole of the region. It gives our emerging talent a platform they can count on, year after year to showcase their amazing work," says Enge Hue. “Festival co-founder and director Vicky Chen (also cofounder of She Says Sg) is a champion of women in Singapore and women animators know they’ll find a warm and supportive welcome at CU.

There are three main programs at Cartoons Underground 2019.

International Competition - “Look At Us”
Look At Us” is the theme for this year's international competition, which features filmmakers from Europe, North America and Asia. Look out for JiHee Nam's (South Korea) and her experimental work “Knife Hanging from a Tree”. JiHee Nam uses splashes of colour and white spaces to tell a story about a permission, greed and karma.

JieHee Nam, who is based on Los Angeles, says “I really wanted to submit it to Cartoon Underground from way back because a lot of my friends had good impressions about the festival. I have few animator friends from Singapore, and how they view their works are always inspiring. So I’m just excited that my film can be played at the festival along with so many talented animators and filmmakers. It still feels weird that I’ve been selected for the shortlist and it will feel that way probably for a long while. I’m always a little self conscious about my works, but I am surprised and enjoying the moments right now.

Other animation shorts in the line-up include “SELFIES” by Claudius Gentinetta (Switzerland),  “Indoor Days” by Asaki Nishino (Switzerland), and “In Passing” by Esther Cheung (Canada).

Best of Singapore Student Animation - “Adventure Time”
This festival programme highlights the pick of some the best animation by Singapore students. Singapore is a hub for teaching the foundation and skills of the art of animation, and 6 of these films are by students of LASALLE College of the Arts and Nanyang Technological University.

Women in Animation
Women in animation are in centrestage for this programme, with five short films from the UK, Canada, Germany, Hungary and Portugal being screened and placed in the festival's international competition lineup. They include “Hot and Tasty” by 2D animator and illustrator Laura Jayne Hodkin (UK), “Ode to Childhood” by Luís Vital, João Monteiro (Portugal), “Kinky Kitchen” by Bea Höller (Germany), “Portrait of a Lady” by Kenny Leoncito (Canada), and “Entropia” by Flóra Anna Buda (Hungary).


You can get your tickets to Cartoons Underground 2019 here at EventBrite. The screenings at 6 PM and 9 PM are free, but donations will be collected at the door.

Mostly 2D and hand drawn, each animation short runs for only three to six minutes long. However, the focus on story-telling and directorial vision is strong, and the films will be a visual treat for those who want to experience something different from the mass of pop-culture movies out there.




Saturday, October 26, 2019

Get Enchanted By ArtScience Museum's Disney: Magic of Animation Exhibition



Be ready to be enchanted (or bewitched) at the DISNEY: MAGIC OF ANIMATION exhibition, which opens at ArtScience Museum today, 26 October 2019. With displays consisting of over 500 over pieces of original drawings, concept art and paintings from the vault of Walt Disney Animation Research Library, this specially curated exhibition is something that a Disney fan should not miss!


Visitors are taken on a journey on Disney's 90+ years of animation, from a recreation of both retro and modern versions of an animator's work desk, to the various processes related to the iconic movies, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Lion King (1994), to recent hits, like Frozen (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014) and Moana (2016),

Upon entering the first gallery, Red Dot Diva felt like she had stepped into animation history. The area was about the brilliance and skill of 2D animation, and includes a tribute to Steamboat Willie (1928), the black and white short film that featured Mickey Mouse's very first appearance.

Fans can get step into a recreation of the famous steamboat and get their selfies, while the Steamboat Willie is screened beside it. Even though the art of animation has progressed in leaps and bounds by now, the old film is still as charming as ever.





Sunday, October 20, 2019

Only on Singtel TV - Warner TV Premieres Batwoman On Demand, 25 October 2019!


The BATWOMAN series which focuses on the adventures of Bruce Wayne's cousin Kate Kane, will be available for Red Dot Island fans after all. The premiere goes live only on Singtel TV's Warner TV Encore, an on-demand channel, on 25 October 2019. Each new episode is available, on the same week as the U.S. telecast. Bravo, Warner TV Asia!

This is the first lesbian superhero series on TV, and it stars gender fluid, openly gay actor Ruby Rose as the titular character. The BATWOMAN series has since attracted a gamut of reactions from the audiences and comic book fans. However, Red Dot Diva feels that there is a need for more stories that champion women power and LGBT communities. (Although, Red Dot Diva is not sure how heavy handed censorship would be, knowing how conservative it is here.)


A fully-costumed Batwoman in her classic red wig, first made her appearance in the Arrowverse last year during the Elseworlds crossover. Contemporary and sleek, the Batwoman costume is designed by the Academy Award-winning costumer Colleen Atwood.

HBO Asia - "Watchmen" Premieres 21 October 2019, Same Time as the U.S. Telecast


Anybody who has anything to do with any of these shitty Watchmen travesties, even as a member of the audience, will be dragged screaming to hell by their nipples,” ranted writer Alan Moore in an interview that he did with creative arts blog, Inside The Rift last year.

Well, considered Red Dot Diva to be one of those willing to be dragged straight into brim and fire, because she is all set to catch the premiere of HBO's WATCHMEN on Monday, 21 October at 9 AM (SG); 8 AM (THAI/ JKT). The new series by executive producer Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), is neither a prequel nor sequel to the brilliant original graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. In fact, Lindelof calls his version a “remix”, and he was also the writer of the pilot episode.



So what does this “remix’ look like? Based on the trailers, the series has mostly new characters, and is set some 30 years after the events in the graphic novel. This is still a time when costumed superheroes have been outlawed, but now, a group of white supremacists have decided to put on masks in the likes to the deceased vigilante anti-hero Rorschach.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Warner Asia TV - DC Superheroes Return for New Seasons of Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow! (SPOILERS)

It's the fall in the USA, and that means your TV screen will be filled with superheroes once again!

Warner Asia TV has brought in three series from the DC Universe back to the region's schedule, so it is time for fans to immerse themselves in their adventures in the new season.

Note: There are some spoilers, so tread with caution!

SUPERGIRL
From the House of El, Kara Zor-El aka “SUPERGIRL” returned with a new season last Monday.

In this 5th season of the superhero TV series, Supergirl (Melissa Benoit) faces challenges at work when a new owner takes over Catco, and a mystery shapeshifter villain with a bone to pick with J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) drops in from the Phantom Zone - and she does it all in a brand new and sleek costume with pants! PANTS!

Kara has also personal issues to resolve with best friend, Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), who found out about Supergirl's true identity in the last season's finale. Will their friendship be able to survive this broken trust?


Watch new episodes of “SUPERGIRLevery Monday at 9:50 PM (SG/ MY/ PH), 8:50 PM (JKT).

Friday, October 11, 2019

Gamestart Asia 2019 - The Cool and Awesome Games (and Mead!) to Look Out For!


Gamestart Asia, the region's premiere gaming convention for both hardcore gamers, casual gamers and industry players kicks off tomorrow for the 6th and probably, final time.

Red Dot Diva attended the Media Preview and had a peek of the show hall, which had a look and feel in tune with this year's theme “Asian Mythology”. Of course, the e-sports competitions like the SEA Major, will be the major highlight of the weekend, as well as the games in all its varied forms for fans to try out and play - tabletop, mobile, console, arcade, VR. You name it, the show has it. 

Some of the show's highlights and guests have already been mentioned an earlier RDD article (click here to read it), but there are even more exciting and fun things to look out for in the exhibit hall.


DISNEY/ MARVEL BOOTH


Disney/ Marvel's booth is the first thing you will see when one enters the hall, and it is brightly dressed with the trademark superhero colours of your favourite Marvel comic book characters.


This is the place to have a look at MARVEL Super War, the company's first MOBA game, where you can choose to be a superhero character, like Captain Marvel, the Hulk or Deadpool, and battle with your friends online.

At 2 PM on 12 October (Saturday), The Walt Disney Company will be making on the main stage with the Special Game Showcase. So, don't miss this segment if you love Disney/ Marvel characters!


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