Tuesday, May 7, 2013

FCBD 2013: The Day When Diva Grabbed Free Comics (and Iron Man)

This is the third FCBD year that Red Dot Diva nerded out and went store-hopping for free comics.

There were plans to meet super early for breakfast with pals, but she forgot to charge her batts after the previous night's epic geek showdown with writer Adam Glass. And so, morning kopi was downed at home while rushing around getting her things ready for a day of free comic book shopping.

Having learned their tough lesson from last year, Red Dot Diva, Melvin, Alvin from Here Be Geeks and Sarah, made sure that Kinokuniya mainstore was their very first FCBD stop, before all the packs of free comics ran out.

As in previous years, the bookstore was giving away packs of free comics (at least 20 in them!) to members from opening time until stocks last.

Red Dot Diva arrived at 1030 am and there were still many packs available. She peeked inside and was stoked to see a coveted Archaia FCBD issue with the Mouseguard/ Rust cover, "The Walking Dead" comic and an Iron Man 3 Heroclix! W00t!

By noon though, she received news that all the packages were gone!

The cosplayers from the Neo Tokyo Project team were also at Kinokuniya, adding more colour to the book store's festivities. Red Dot Diva thought the Iron Man cosplayer was especially awesomeeeee. And then, Melvin had to cheekily suggest that she took a pic sitting on "Iron Man's" lap. Awkward!

Well, in all honesty, she wouldn't have felt it was that awkward if she was at an overseas convention where the cosplayers have a more "playful and merry" attitude. Over here, generally more decorum is expected, she thinks. So she played coy and minorly "stroke-touch" the chest-armour only, lah.

By then, it was time to head to the next location - GnB Comics at Rochor Centre. She had made plans to meet the Evil Twin at Bugis Junction, and coincidentally, the rest decided to grab more free comics at GnB too.

They arrived early at GnB and join in the line of 30 people, as the store was not open yet. GnB's events were supposed to begin at 12pm.

The line got longer as everyone patiently waited for doors to open. As the clock ticked towards noon time, the weather got hotter and more humid too. Red Dot Diva was trying not to wilt by hiding in the shade as much as she could. Need Aircon. Quick!

Finally, a few minutes after 12pm, GnB officially opened for FCBD and everyone rushed into the shop. Not just for the free comics, but also for the much needed relief of the cool AC. It made her wonder how hot and sweaty the Supergirl and Spiderman cosplayers must be feeling!

Right back of the cramped confines of GnB, comic fans who were non-members could nab a maximum of 3 comics; members could grab a few more. Regional artists -  Garrie Gastonny, Sami Basri, Sunny Gho - were on site to do sketches and sign items, but Red Dot Diva wasn't familiar with their work and did not get anything signed from them.

Instead, her eyes roved over to the totally adorable chibi "Avengers" art prints by local artist K (aka Keh Choon Wee). They were just calling her to bring them home, and even The Evil Twin was tempted to buy a set of postcards too! And as an appreciative gesture for having an interest in his artwork, K even gave Red Dot Diva one of his sketchbooks!

Art prints by K -- SO CUTE!!
The shop was getting way too squashy by then. Bodies were literally bumping against each other as people squeezed around to either: get to the pay counter, to the artists, to the free comics or just out the door! It was a sign for Red Dot Diva and The Evil Twin to make precious body space for other fans and have lunch back at Bugis Junction together with Andre aka Million Dollar Smile.

Oh, before lunch was had, Red Dot Diva and The Evil Twin feasted on lots of Tony Stark/ Iron Man goodness! As part of the "Iron Man 3" movie promo, Hot Toys had put up a booth to display their Iron Man figurines at Bugis Junction. There was also a fantastic diorama from an opening "Iron Man 3" movie scene.

And this fantastic RDJ aka Tony Stark look-alike statuette! Someone buy this for Red Dot Diva's birthday present, please?? ;)

Diva really really wants to have her own "RDJ"/ Tony Stark.

Melvin, Alvin and Sarah were heading back to Orchard Road for Hasbro's Star Wars Day promotion, as well as Epigram's "The Girl Under The Bed" book launch at Kinokuniya. As much as she loved Star Wars, the scorching weather was beginning to zap Red Dot Diva's energy, and she decided to stick with her plan to support her friends at Invasion! Toys and Collectibles in the afternoon. And since Andre was going there as well, both she and The Evil Twin could hitch a ride in his car.

When they arrived at Invasion!, the store was already crawling with a bunch of mainly geek guys. It was definitely more crowded than Red Dot Diva expected. Most were huddled around artists Shawn Yap and Keatopia, looking enthralled as they drew various sketches for comic book fans.

Keatopia and Shawn Yap

It was beginning to feel as claustrophobic as GnB, so Red Dot Diva and The Evil Twin took refuge outside the store for more cool air. Not long after, familiar "faces" from Gotham City appeared. There was (in low raspy voice) Batman, Deadpool, Harley Quinn and Psylocke! There goes more excuses to take photos. :D But since Batman is Batman, Red Dot Diva didn't even dare stroke his armour. And especially, one should take note NOT to step on Batman's cape.

Because Invasion! was located near a children's education centre, there were a number of delighted boys and girls who wanted to take photos with the cosplayers, or were tempted to see if they could get free comics from the shop.

If you are a non-member, Invasion! handed out only two free comics. And one of the two was a rather lame Tinkerbell one. Even though sweet young girls (if they ever choose to wander into the shop full of grown up men!) would probably like the comic. (Or maybe not.) Members, however, could collect their very own big pack of free comics.

But one could sense that most of the fans at Invasion! were waiting for a final and special guest artist to make his hallowed appearance rather than the free comics. The guest was none other than Stanley "Artgerm" Lau. When Stanley strode in to take his seat in between Shawn and Keatopia, a sudden hushed reverent silence fell in the room. That's the sound of Fan Boys in Awe.

Stanley was supposed to do signings of his art prints and artwork only but during the time Red Dot Diva was there, she saw him agree to do the rare quick sketch or two for a couple of fans.

More and more fans crowded round the artist table to ogle, and Red Dot Diva had already collected her "Iron Butlers" art print by Shawn so it was time for her and The Evil Twin to call it a day for FCBD.

With the slew of blockbuster movies based on comic characters, FCBD has gotten even more hype this year round. Even more so, when it coincided with May the 4th - Star Wars Day.

Well... the more geekery, the merrier, Red Dot Diva says!

And even though she couldn't get the Hasbro-promoted Kenner Vintage Series Boba Fett action figure at Orchard Road, she still managed to score a large haul of free comics and swag.

Which made this year's FCBD an equally memorable and fun adventure!


Blogged about your own FCBD jaunt or want to brag about your FCBD stash?

Head on to the FCBD Singapore Facebook page to share your links and pics!


Red Dot Diva is also currently holding a blog contest - with those who could not make it to FCBD in mind. There are free comics and postcards to be won.

All you need to do is LIKE the Red Dot Diva Facebook page, and post the correct answer in the comments there. And a winner will be chosen randomly.

Click here for the contest link!

The contest ends Sat, 11 May 9pm Singapore time.

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