Sunday, September 9, 2012

STGCC Day 2 Recap - Operation Red Dot Biceps Continues

Bah. *sniffle*

Late night of Day 1 and con crud has already infected poor Red Dot Diva.

There's still Day 2 of STGCC to go.

So, she rigorously self-medicated with a stash of drugs, fell asleep for a few meagre hours... then, gamely made her way to that far away neverland of Marina Bay Sands late Sunday morning.

The crowd has yet to descend on the exhibition hall. Probably because most people do not like waking up early on Sundays, and many folks were still in their houses of worship.

As for Red Dot Diva, she took advantage of the quieter con hours to do some serious shopping! Her first stop was at the Invasion booth. Naturally, Big Ben was there like a doberman guarding his charge, Mark Brooks. Mark upon hearing that Red Dot Diva was nursing the start of a flu, looked as if he was going to grab the first hazmat suit he sees. *pout*

Although....  with that reaction, Red Dot Diva was beginning to get that heady powerful feeling for merely being infectious. Hmm... *evil machinations*. So that's what a super-villain feels like! XD

The other Mark -- The Mutant Ninja Torres - seemed unconcerned about bugs. And when Red Dot Diva collected her pre-ordered book "INK:Toxicated", she received a very nice tattoo-ed bonus biceps shot (see pic above). W00t!

Honnie, Honnie....

She also picked up Wendy Chew's latest sketchbook, which was filled with adorable drawings that is fast becoming her trademark. While patiently waiting for Wendy to do a sketch, Red Dot Diva admired Wendy's first vinyl toy, the flirty-looking Honnie. It was really very nicely made, and very very curvy. Did anyone get one of these??

And oh, look at this! It only took a few minutes, but Wendy managed to whip up this superb sketch for Red Dot Diva.

A ringing endorsement. Yes/ No?

There was still time before the only panel that Red Dot Diva had planned to attend that day (the one on "The Evolution of Heroes and Villians"), as well as her scheduled interview with toy designers The Beast Brothers, so she decided to kill some spare time walking around Artists Alley of the hall once more.

On Day 1, someone (she couldn't remember who) had urged Red Dot Diva to go check out Malaysian artist Boey and his paper cups. So that was one of her to-do list on Day 2. She found the affable and handsome (subjective) Boey at his booth already chatting up with a customer.

While, she patiently waited for him to finish up his little doodle for that person, she ogled at his marvellously detailed Sharpie and paper cup art (see pic on left). And browsed through his best-selling autobiographical book, "When I Was A Kid".

Within the book's pages, small stick-like figures graphically represented little boy Boey's mundane but insightful observations of the world around him - in that precocious way only a smart kid could.

She decided to get the book too and had a little chat with the animated Boey, who mentioned that he is not really based "anywhere" and likes being wherever it makes sense. Interesting guy, him.

She Is Diva and He Is Boey

Around noon, the "Heroes/ Villains" panel, moderated by geek writer pal, Nicholas aka incoherent boy, kicked off on stage with a pretty sizeable audience. On stage were Andy Diggle, Mark Brooks, Andie Tong, Leinil Yu, Mark Torres and Gerry Alanguilan, all ready to be grilled by Nicholas on their thoughts of how the current generation sees heroes versus villains.

The panel was lively and there were heated moments from Leinil Yu (with much cheers from the crowd) proclaiming how "The Dark Knight Rises" sucks when the point about the motivations of heroes and villains having to "make sense" was raised. Andy Diggle seemed to agree, saying that Loki from "The Avengers" was a more convincing villain compared to Bane. The main detractor to the argument was young Mark Torres who said that TDKR was to be viewed as more of a man and hero's journey that started out with "Batman Begins" than just a story about a superhero.

When the discussion about "Kick Ass" began, Mark Brooks and Andy Diggle had a mini tussle about whether the movie was depicting what a hero meant to audiences these days. Andy felt that it was primarily a parody about superheroes, with Mark firmly disagreeing and saying that that's what many people see as "heroes" these days -- the media notoriety that comes with the "crime-fighting" actions. Two smart handsome men threatening an all-down words-off beneath the veneer of gentlemanly politeness? (Diva fans herself) Man, that was hot.

There was a great question from a young fan about whether the Dr Who series appeals to teenagers. Andy said he thinks Dr Who definitely does and the character has changed with the times, to a version that is currently "bolder, funnier, a little bit geeky, a little bit nerdy, and a little bit weirdly asexual". Gerry Alanguilan stepped in to share that the young people in the Philippines may not know English but they would take to Dr Who almost immediately and love the series to bits. "That's the only thing (English word) they would know 'EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE'," Gerry said in his Filipino accent to amused laughter from the crowd. Then, there was that lame request for the guests to do an impersonation of Thor asking for a drink from the movie. "I don't do impressions," Mark Brooks said gruffly, passing on the mantle to Andy and Andie to act the scene out.

All in all, that was a pretty good rousing panel with interesting opinions on the topic. Generally, the panel agreed that the line between heroes and villains are getting blurry and falling into the grey in recent times.

At mid-afternoon, together with toy aficionado Edward from Toys3tc, Red Dot Diva got to do an interview with The Beast Brothers - Carlos and Ernesto.

Such cuties they were!!

Totally friendly and oh so charming, they chirpily yakked about their art and the process of making vinyl toys, and seemed to be enjoying chatting about their craft. (A separate interview article on The Beast Brothers is in the works.)

And at the end, they even gave her a show of their artistic biceps and twin Mexican kisses. *Blush (≧ω≦)

By the late afternoon, Red Dot Diva was feeling quite fatigued. Especially since she barely escaped from a menacing Jawa who was going to drag her into his Sandcrawler.....


.... and was still fending off a fever that was threatening to burst out of her veins. After resting in the Media Village whiling waiting for iPhrus to charge up, she had a nice mini catch-up with tokuAsia pal Lester. After which, she decided to officially call it a wrap with STGCC 2012 and make her way home.

That stupid arduous journey took a terrible 2 hours. Thanks to the crowded weekend transportation system out of the bay area. But Red Dot Diva is not going to tear another fresh one into that oft-argued political issue right now. Let's just say, she was glad to rest her head and feet when she finally arrived home.

What made her smile again was looking at the convention swag she got from the last two days.

Yay to STGCC swag!

She was also very happy with the many new friends/ connections she made. Plus the wonderful fun memories she now shares with an even wider circle of artist friends and fellow geek pals - Here Be Geeks, Nicholas, Melvin, Ryan, Edward, Dennis and Lester. And making the con floor even more pervily colourful with cosplayer, Victoria.

STGCC 2012 was definitely well-run and very enjoyable. A huge improvement from 2011, for sure. Kudos to Reed Singapore, PR firm Ninemer, MBS, the gracious guests, the exhibitors and the passionate fans themselves.

The only main whines Red Dot Diva has were the location of MBS itself (arghhhh! Suntec, I miss you!!) and how impractically few the number of female toilets there were for a convention hall this size.

Throughout last week, she heard from many fans expressing how much fun they had at this year's convention too. And most are already excited about next year's event.

STGCC later reported officially that there was a record attendance of nearly 35,000 visitors that weekend. This is a fantastic sign for better things to come next year.

Red Dot Diva still stands by her ardent STGCC wish -- more female creator guests and a panel focused on female creators in the industry. (Can Gail Simone and Nicola Scott be invited back to Singapore? And Marjorie Liu or Amanda Conner?) 

Here's hoping that her wish will come true in the very near future!

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