Saturday, September 14, 2013

STGCC 2013: The David Mack Boo(b)th Babe Experience

To those who have been wondering what it was like to be at David Mack's side for more than 7 hours for two days running, you can now calm your busybody-chest, drag a comfy chair and read this Exclusive Red Dot Diva Exposé.

It all started with a text message Red Dot Diva received from Reed Exhibition's Rita asking if she would like to be David Mack's helper/ minder during STGCC. After having done press and being a convention floor wanderer for the last 3 years, Red Dot Diva thought it might be fun to do something different for a change.

Now, if you have been to conventions in the U.S.A. and dropped by to see David at his booth, it is hard not to notice the lithe beauties whom he seem to have as his booth assistants. Alas! At STGCC 2013, David had to content with plain little ol' Red Dot Diva as his demi-boo(b)th babe.

Boo(b)th "babe" or not, what both Red Dot Diva and David did not expect was how CRAZY things would be, right from the moment doors opened on Day 1. It was a good thing that there were extra and ready helping hands from Reed's Seri and Red Dot Dude, Andre.

In an almost endless stream, people levitated toward David's booth to browse or buy his stuff - most probably due to the sheer magnetism of his presence.

Decked out in a snug black tee and jeans, David was all manly good looks, resplendent in his hunky biceps, and dimples that twinkled whenever he chose to smile. To top it all, he was the consummate professional, very conversational with the fans, and emanated a constant aura of almost zen-like patience. No wonder he was a hit with the laydeeeeees. Many of whom - Red Dot Diva noticed - were already familiar with his "Kabuki" books.

Whenever David was busy engaging with his fans, Red Dot Diva assisted the other interested buyers and browsers with their selection of art prints or books, quoting the prices, helping fans take photos, and sometimes, handling cash sales.

Red Dot Diva has bumped into David a couple of times at USA conventions, but this was the first time they actually worked together at a booth. So, not surprisingly, they faced a few glitches on Day 1. But those were worked out pretty quickly.

For instance, David found he did not have a metallic gold Sharpie for signing the goodies, and luckily, the magical Red Dot Diva had .... (voila!) a pair of Pilot gold and silver ink pens in her bag. Just like Hermione. So if any of you have those precious Mack autographs signed in gold ink, just remember -- that was Diva's life-saving pen. ;)

They also started out with not having enough $10 notes to give back as change, and Diva also made the mistake of arranging to lunch at the food court downstairs which made David almost miss his Marvel panel with C.B. Cebulski and Joe Mad. Plus, there was the unscheduled signing at Marvel's booth after the panel which caught them by surprise. But despite all these hiccups and delay in grabbing a proper lunch, David was unruffled and so together.

That afternoon, after David returned from his short lunch break, a bunch of people had already been waiting for him at the table. People just kept on coming to the booth like bees to honey. And during both days at STGCC, Red Dot Diva heard several fans who uttered, "Hi David, I have been wanting to meet you for the longest time!" It must be gratifying for him to know that his stories have reached and touched an audience beyond just the continent of America.

There were also art lovers and hard core collectors from the region who came by to request for art commissions and Red Dot Diva estimated that the list grew to about 10 or so on Day 1 itself. Almost all of whatever books he brought with him was sold out by the first day. A couple of popular art prints, including the Spiderman one, was sold out by then too. At around 7 PM, David decided to return to his hotel room to decompress, rest and have dinner with fellow artist/creator guest Joe Madureira.

The next day around 10 AM, while Red Dot Diva and Seri sat at the booth patiently waiting for David to arrive, they were constantly asked by eager fans if he was at the show already, and what time he was arriving.

From what she was told, David had woken up at about 6 AM to try to do as many art commissions as possible, and he would come by the convention hall around noon. Even then, he had a full schedule from 12.30 PM onwards - an interview time slot, another Marvel panel and Day 2's Walk of Fame signing session.

So there, in the meantime, were Seri and Red Dot Diva....  like two border collies staving off a pack of hungry wolves till David finally arrived at noon.

And oh.... Dear Joe Mad! (insert Portuguese telenova-like dramatic angst) -- You have nooooo idea how much Red Dot Diva had to suffer on your behalf while being David's boo(b)th babe! Your numerous male fans had assumed that the empty booth table placed beside David's to be yours, and every now and again, Red Dot Diva was interrogated (quite aggressively) with questions like, "Is Joe Mad! here?!", "When will be here? I thought he's a guest!!?" "Will he be doing signings?" "Is Joe Mad sketching?" And poor Diva could only offer a shrug, tell them that she wasn't Joe's boo(b)th babe and hence did not know his convention schedule intimately, and that they should check the official time table. All while enduring some scary and scathing death stares. *sniff*. Sigh.

The drawing power of David Mack's biceps
If Day 1 was considered a hectic and enterprising day, Day 2 was a surreal stream of consciousness. The enthusiastic crowd took on a more urgent vibe as fans came to collect their art commissions, more fans came to buy art prints and get autographs, and several more requesting sketches from David. Especially after he broke out his drawing pad, ink and brush to do a series of live drawings. Which probably also caught the interest of attendees wandering by who did not know who David was.

After all, Red Dot Diva has to admit, watching David paint - with his fluid control of the brush and unique perspective of images - was like being part of gorgeous mesmerizing art porn. Considering that David had been drawing from day break, Red Dot Diva noticed that his shoulders, arms, knuckles and fingers were getting tired in the afternoon. He had to keep stretching or alternately flexing them - probably to relief the soreness. See... that's why it's important to have strong artistic biceps. :P

But even as tiring as it must have been, the energy of the fans and their love for his work helped get David going on, right up till the convention closing time at 8 PM.

And for those who crave more nosy tidbits, here's a run down of anecdotes that happened while Red Dot Diva was being Da DMack's Boo(b)th Babe:

- While at his booth, David was visited by a lady fan with a Kabuki tattoo on her shoulders/ back and wanted to take pics together with him (tattoo included, of course). She was obviously very enthralled with him being physically there, and it took quite awhile before she could pry away from his side.

- David was delighted to see someone cosplaying as Tiger Lilly - one of the characters he created. He was also visited at his booth by a Super-Adorable Baby Harlequinn

and ermm.... a grey wabbit called Gandalf. --->> CLICK HERE for David Mack vs Bunny

- David was handed several gifts from fans during the two days. There were drawings dedicated to him and his work, a couple which were of his cats, and a few others gave him gifts of food, like Chinese mooncake.

- Someone had presented David with a box of pineapple tarts. During a short and rare lull....
David, opening the box and offering to Andre and Diva: "Do you want some pineapple tarts?"
Diva: (pause) "Are you trying to say that I'm a tart?"
David, caught a little aback: "Noooo."
Diva grinned. 
David: "I can't help but notice that your sense of humor is a little blue!"
Apparently, Andre had to assure him later that this was the norm :P

- One of the first things David said when he arrived at his booth on Day 2, was how much he enjoyed doing the art commission for Red Dot Diva's friend, Ryan. Ryan had requested that David draw his son as Spiderman. When David pulled it out to show it to her, she immediately realized how much heart went into that little painting. Later that day, when Ryan came to collect the art piece, he was visibly moved by what he saw. This is David's art commission of Ryan's son:

- During the two days, Red Dot Diva was asked (within earshot of David, no less) some rather pointed questions. One of them was Ryan asking her if she found David's biceps to be "up to her standard" (Duh!) and whether she found biceps or abs more appealing. (No need to specify Diva's answer. This should be obvious.) Another lady friend commented knowingly that Diva must be enjoying herself. (You think???) But the most epic question of all came from Indonesian artist Pipin Tobing, who while standing beside David watching him draw, suddenly called Red Dot Diva aside and asked not too softly, "So... Diva.... Whose Biceps are Better? Joe Mad or David?" Diva was appalled and wailed, "This is NOT a Fair Question!"

- At Day 2's Walk of Fame together with Joe Mad and Simone Legno, David was already looking a little tired. Diva saw and chatted with a friend whom she hasn't seen in awhile. She also wanted to take some pics of Joe and Simone, and ended up being away from David's side for a good 10 minutes or so. After she returned by his table, he immediately looked up from the item he was signing, with such vulnerability in those blue-grey eyes of his that Diva's usually cold heart nearly melted.

David: "Diva! (well actually he called her name) "
Diva, surprised: "Huh? I just went to take some photos...."
David: "Are you doing OK?"
Diva, even more surprised now, but giving him a reassuring look and answer: "I'm OKayyyy...."
David: "OK. Just checking."

- One of the funniest memorable moments was when Wayne Rée came by and said that he just had to take a biceps photo with David, because his cousin in Canada said that David has the hunkiest pair in the comics industry. Red Dot Diva laughed so hard at that remark. She has a sister from another mother, a fellow biceps-appreciator... in Canada!


For original post, click here

Really... on those two days though, Diva and David did not converse that much with each other. Or had the chance to.

His attention was showered on the deserving fans who came specially to meet him. And sometimes, Red Dot Diva found him to be cryptic - David tends to keep (or is it ... absorb?) a lot of things internally. At first, she thinks. Not sure what kind of vibes or psychological readings he got of Diva during those two days, but that isn't the point anyway.

Before he left the convention for good and went on with his other plans, Red Dot Diva received a tight bear hug from Da DMack, her copy of "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC) autographed,

 and a beautiful unclaimed drawing as a keepsake.

This drawing is in Diva's office now

So, what was it like riding on the David Mack Boo(b)th Babe Experience, you ask?

It was an Ultimate High and a whole lot of Bicepstuous Fun!


Red Dot Diva knows she has said it before but THANKS again to Seri and Andre for their help!
And those who brought her food during the two days.

And to David -- You were Awesome. Here's to the special experiences and memories of STGCC/ Singapore 2013!


For photo galleries and a rundown of the Marvel panel on Day 2, head to the daily roundups by Here Be Geeks!
- STGCC Day 1
- STGCC Day 2

Click here for Red Dot Diva's STGCC Photo Gallery!

A round-up of what various people thought of STGCC 2013 right here on Red Dot Diva .... SOON!

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