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. 


Reylo

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 cehenault@gmail.com 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.

WATCH THE “PENNYWORTH” Trailer:

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.

WATCH LEGEND OF HOPE - A STAR WARS FAN FILM:



So then, who are the brains behind this special fan video? Popular local YouTuber LukeForever (who has over 2,300 subscribers) heads this passion project with the help of his team of loyal, hard-working mates. The thrilling action scenes were choreographed by another local actor and producer, Jonathan Cheong, who incidentally also plays the major baddie in the fan film. Amongst the actors is all-round stunt guy Kasimir Poh Cieslak as Darth Vader.



The project took about a year to complete from drawing board to its completed version. For a locally-made fan film on a tiny budget of SGD 4,000, Red Dot Diva thought the production values was remarkable. The fan film has since chalked up over 12,000 views.



After the video was released on YouTube, Red Dot Diva reached out to LukeForever with a list of nosy questions on the making of LEGEND OF HOPE. Despite his busy schedule, LukeForever has managed to record and post a video sharing about what his feelings and headspace when he put this project into motion. And... YAAASS! He also answered Red Dot Diva's 8 Nosy Questions in the video!



Amongst other behind the scenes information that LukeForever talked about, he revealed the meaning behind the fan film's title, and warned about the most gruelling aspect of producing the film, which by the way, was the labourious, under-appreciated skill of film editing. He also shared about which Star Wars movie he would love to have been involved in, and the time when his set was ambushed by a marauding band of monkeys!

WARNING: The video is Moderately NSFW.
There is a fair amount of profanity in this video as LukeForever is being his charming enthusiastic self. So, do not turn up the volume if you are watching this in front of young children or within a conservative office space!



LukeForever also mentioned that he intends to produce a separate LEGEND OF HOPE Behind The Scenes video for his Youtube channel in the near future. Red Dot Diva thinks this is a great way to show the work involved in making a short film, as well as to inspire fledging movie-makers out there. Oh, and please do add in funny bloopers!

With young, dedicated, talented creatives like LukeForever and his crew producing films like these, more locally-made movies will be doing a hyperspace jump onto the international stage sooner than you think.

May the Force Be With Us!



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 www.dcfandome.com, 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:



MOVIES
Man of Steel
Aquaman
Shazam!
Birds of Prey



TV SHOWS
The Flash
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Black Lightning
Supergirl
Batwoman
DC's Stargirl
Titans
Doom Patrol
Lucifer
Pennyworth
Watchmen
DC Super Hero Girls
Teen Titans GO!
Harley Quinn
Young Justice: Outsiders



Highly anticipated shows which have been slated for future releases like WONDER WOMAN 1984, THE BATMAN, THE SUICIDE SQUAD (aka Suicide Squad 2), the SYNDERCUT OF JUSTICE LEAGUE, BLACK ADAM as well as upcoming series SUPERMAN AND LOIS are also included in DC FanDome, so it will be interesting to find out what tidbits, exclusive footage and teasers the creators and cast members have for the fans.


The virtual world of DC FanDome also offers these events in different languages including English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, German, Japanese, French and Italian, so that fans around the world is able to access the special presentations in their local language.

THE MULTIVERSE OF DC FANDOME



As you can see from the DC FanDome map above, The Hall of Heroes is the epicentre. It is here where fans will experience special programming, surprise reveals, and intriguing panels.

From there, fans can explore the 5 different multiverses:

* DC WatchVerse
Imagine. Hours and hours of content for you to watch! Panels, exclusive screenings, never-before-seen footage featuring cast, crew and creators will be shown in this section during the virtual event.

* DC YouVerse
In this section, the fans are the stars of the show. Here is where you can ogle at the sheer creativity of fan-made content that include fan art, cosplay, videos and more.

* DC KidsVerse
For the young ones, they can step directly into a special universe at DCKidsFanDome.com. Entertaining family-friendly content will be housed here so that the kids can be part of the adventure too.

* DC InsiderVerse
Enter into this creative-based zone, with creatives and artists from comics, theme parks, games, movies, consumer products, and more. There will also be a welcome video with DC CCO/Publisher Jim Lee, President of DC-Based Film Production Walter Hamada, and creator of the DC TV Arrowverse, Executive Producer Greg Berlanti, giving an introduction to the DC Multiverse.

* DC FunVerse
Need to buy some DC merchandise?? Hop into this universe for limited edition exclusives, digital giveaways, shareables, and other goodies, like a DIY WW84 Golden Armour and Batmobile kits.



SHOW OFF YOUR FAN CREATIONS

In partnership with Talenthouse, DC FanDome is giving DC Superfans a chance to show off their creations - fan art, cosplay, tattoos, makeup, whatever that shows off your fan love loud and proud.

Submit your fan creations at create.DCFanDome.com, and you may get the chance to be featured in this worldwide virtual event. The selected artist of the day will be voted by the community in two competitions. After which, the judges will pick the winners for the competitions, and they will each  stand to win part of a cash prize pool from DC and Talenthouse. (Note: official rules are available at create.DCFanDome.com, so please head there to read them carefully.)


With about two months to go, Red Dot Diva is sure that there will be a stream of news and announcements leading up to DC FanDome. Keep an eye out for them at the official website, DCFanDome.com. You can also read the newly launched blog called The Daily Star, where updates will be posted. For the first blog entry, Jim Lee, Publisher & Chief Creator for DC, sends out an invite for all DC fans to gather for this super-mega event.

As most of you may already know, Red Dot Diva is an hardcore DC Girl. Her longtime favourite comic book characters are all from DC, so she is more than ready to get sucked into the DC FanDome multiverse on August 23. So Super Excites!!!



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.

UNSTABLE DIRECTIONS expands the universe created by Joelyn Alexandra and artist Elvin Ching in the graphic novel, UNSTABLE FOUNDATIONS published by COSH Studios in 2019. You can purchase UNSTABLE DIRECTIONS at an Early Bird price from here!

Don't miss out on the virtual launch party where you will find out more about the new zine as well as Joelyn's writing process and personal experiences. It will be casual, it will chatty, and it's free of charge! 

DATE: 27 June 2020, Saturday

TIME: 1 PM, Singapore Time (GMT +8)
 
TO RSVP: www.facebook.com/events/548755272433782

LIVESTREAM: www.facebook.com/reddotdiva/live

** CLICK HERE FOR EARLY BIRD PURCHASE LINK OF
UNSTABLE DIRECTIONS **

If this livestream is well received, Red Dot Diva plans to go live either on a fortnightly or monthly basis, with a primary aim to focus on local and regional creators and artists.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

New Teaser Posters For Korean Zombie Sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, Red Dot Diva highlighted a few zombie shows which would entertaining to watch as a form of escapism. When you are stuck in a lockdown, it can be really cathartic to expect the worse. Really.

One of the shows listed is the frenetic, visceral yet heartfelt Korean zombie movie called “TRAIN TO BUSAN” (2016) by Yeon Sang-ho. If you are a zombie or horror fan and have yet to watch this movie, put it on your viewing list now!

TRAIN TO BUSAN” puts a different spin to the genre, showcasing rapid zombies that spurred a 120-minute heart-thumping race for humanity's survival. The movie became a worldwide hit, becoming the highest grossing Korean film at the box office in Red Dot Island, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Fans have been clamouring for the release of its sequel ever since.

Two new posters (included in this article) for the highly anticipated sequel “TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA” (or just “Peninsula” in some markets) have just been released by Well Go America, the distributor for North America, after the announcement of its selection for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. Even though the film festival has cancelled due to the coronavirus, a list of 56 movies was still announced for its official selection.

Monday, May 25, 2020

HBO Asia's New Chilling Survival Series The Head Premieres on 12 June 2020


It has been a steamy pot of sweltering heat and humidity in Red Dot Island for the last couple of weeks. That is why Red Dot Diva is looking forward to some visual relief consisting of icy land masses of Antarctica when WarnerMedia's HBO Asia premieres a new thriller called THE HEAD on 12 June at 9 PM (SG Time).

THE HEAD is about a small group of scientists called the Winterers, who are huddled in Polaris VI international polar station in Antarctica during its long freezing winter months. They are there to work on a project crucial to climate change. The team consists of members from different countries, and are led by a respected biologist Arthur Wilde (John Lynch). Then suddenly, during on of these long polar nights, communications from the station stalled, cutting the group off from the outside world.




When summer commander Johan Berg (Alexander Willaume) arrives at the station in spring, finding the team dead or missing. Johan's wife Annika (Laura Bach) is one of those missing, and with the help of apparent lone survivor Maggie (Katherine O'Donnelly), there is an urgency to find out what happened during the last 6 months of winter. Is there a killer on the loose? Or was there something stranger and more sinister that happened?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Get on Facebook Live for AsiaPac Books' Singlit Den Online Event on 17 May 2020


Yesterday, local publisher Asiapac Books kicked off Singlit Comics Den together with collaborators Singapore Comic Con (SGCC), Kult and Buy SingLit.

The inaugural online event this weekend (16 and 17 May 2020) consists of a list of workshops by local comic book creators as well as live streams of book launches and meet and greets. It is such a great way to help the community remain connected with each other during the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker.

For Sunday's (17 May) schedule, there will be a series of free live streams via Facebook:

1400 hrs - Meet the creators: Sacred Guardians Singa
1500 hrs - Comic book launch: Elizabeth Choy
1600 hrs - Making comic books with Asiapac Books
1700 hrs - Discover the "POP" within you with Singapore Comic Con
1800 hrs - Launch party for Comix.sg, Singapore’s new online directory for comic creators

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Diva's Reylo Fan Art Series: Afterblossom's Creative and Adorable Cartoons



For a May the 4th Star Wars Day Special, Red Dot Diva continues with her Reylo Fan Art Series by introducing Kelly aka Afterblossom, a freelance artist based in Malaysia! (The first of the series was a Q&A with Rachel Xin , who is now working with Pixar!)

Afterblossom's level of creativity is as astounding as it is humourous. She manages to capture pop-culture characters, especially the Star Wars ones, in an irresistibly adorable way.  Reylo fans would have already come across her funny-cute cartoons and comics on her sites like Patreon, Tumblr or Twitter.

Red Dot Diva learned that Afterblossom started working on her first comic when she was getting her graphic design degree at university. Other than drawing, Afterblossom also enjoys reading, watching movies and swimming. But we really want to find out more about her art, don't we? So, here's Red Dot Diva's Q&A with Afterblossom:

Red Dot Diva: How did you get into drawing fan art?
Afterblossom:
As someone who likes to draw, this comes naturally to me. I’ve been drawing fanart for my previous fandoms for a while. Once I saw The Last Jedi, I immediately supported the Reylo pairing and I have been drawing them ever since!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Celebrate Star Wars Day Online with Fightsaber Singapore on May the 4th



Sigh. Remember the pre-Covid-19 pandemic days??

Those were the days when local Star Wars fans here would gather physically to celebrate May the 4th Star Wars Day by interacting with costumers and cosplayers, ogling at wondrous toy collections, learning how to fight with a lightsaber, or simply enjoying each other's geeky company.

Earlier in March 2020, the organisers of May the 4th SG had wisely announced that due to safety reasons, there will not be a public event held this year. Then, Circuit Breaker happened, and no gatherings were allowed by law anyway.

However, it will be the school holidays next week, and the younglings will be off from HBL sessions. So, parents and their children can take part in a May the 4th celebration online with our favourite lightsaber performance and costume group, Fightsaber SG



Thursday, April 23, 2020

Cartoon Network Premieres New Animation Series MONSTER BEACH on 25 April 2020

To the agony of fellow Red Dot Islanders, Circuit Breaker just got extended. It is going to be tough to keep the younger ones interested and energised till 1 June, while keeping them safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To add on to the list of fun things that the children can do, Red Dot Diva recommends Cartoon Network's brand new animation series called MONSTER BEACH. Surf-siblings Jan and Dean have been sent to live with their distant Uncle Woody on a tropical island called Iki-Iki. Hanging out on the island's very happening Monster Beach, is a kooky and colourful gang of monster surfers.

Together, the siblings and their monster friends cruise around the island attempting to solve a series of freaky mysteries and legends, while fending off the resident bad guy Dr. Knutt, who happens to be the leader of a tribe of tiki monsters. It is simply the kind of cool, endless summer vacation that any kid would dream of!


Take a peek at this karaoke sing-a-ling video to get acquainted with the various misfits of MONSTER BEACH:




Friday, April 17, 2020

Diva's Review: Scifi Short Film AFTER_LIFE by Perry Lam Tugs at the Heartstrings

It is usually during times of stress, isolation and uncertainty, that people tend to take stock of their lives. When you are forced to live in the company of those in your household for days on end, it can either be a bittersweet feeling, a sense of relief, or for many others, torrents of extreme frustration and anger.

However, during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the elderly are the most vulnerable of contracting and dying from the disease, most of us are holding our parents and grandparents nearer and dearer to us, even though they may be an annoyance in our daily lives.

The short local film called AFTER_LIFE is a reminder to appreciate those we love, and if you are brave, to verbally express that you love them too. Time and life can be fleeting, and in a moment, things that once know can change drastically.



AFTER_LIFE, written & directed by Australia-based Perry Lam, is a short story with a scifi twist. It tells the tale of a young man named Kurt, who learns to find meaning between the realms of imagination and reality, and how to deal with the consequences of his loss and regrets.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Diva's Friend Booked Her A Video Message From Neal McDonough - Thank You SO MUCH!

It's DAY 3 of CIRCUIT BREAKER Mode in Red Dot Island, as us islanders try to curb the spread of the infectious disease, and attempt to “flatten the curve”. What other countries call a lockdown, the Red Dot Island government has decided to call “Circuit Breaker”. Red Dot Diva thinks the term used is both ingenious and funny at the same time.

Not being with friends or family for an extended period of time can be disconcerting. Even for most introverts. People are social creatures after all, regardless of the level of interaction one prefers.

So, it was such a LOVELY SURPRISE when Red Dot Diva was woken up by a familiar ping on WhatsApp this morning from fellow nerd bro Ryan. Within the message was a video from one of Red Dot Diva's favourite silver foxy actors, NEAL MCDONOUGH!

OMG. *introverted silent shrieks*

Ryan had booked for the special message from a video-sharing website called CAMEO, and it totally made Red Dot Diva's day.

Watch Neal McDonough say hello to Red Dot Diva:




Sunday, March 15, 2020

HBO's Westworld Season 3 Is Sleeker But Still An Intriguing Reboot


"A new narrative awaits" teases one of the social media promotional tagline for HBO's WESTWORLD Season 3, and after watching screeners of 4 episodes for this review, Red Dot Diva agrees that the show feels like a reboot.

In the new season, creators and writers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (they are also the show's executive producers) have taken viewers out of the dystopian theme park into the real world, where android Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) has escaped to, after a bloody revolution in Season 2. Within the setting of future Los Angeles, with its glistening tall buildings, iconic palm trees and modernised ghettos, the show's storyline is less convoluted, has fewer time jumps, and is also more focused on corporations vs mankind.

This show of corporate greed and control is embodied in a new villain Serac (Vincent Cassel), a trillionaire all ready to pounce on and use the data collected by Delos through the Westworld theme park. His plans are constantly foiled by Dolores, who has an agenda of her own, and so, Serac asks the intelligent android Maeve (Thandie Newton) to find and kill her fellow theme park mate.

In fact, one of the early episodes that focused on Maeve's storyline is Red Dot Diva's favourite. Thandie Newton is a deft actor, and beautifully chews up her scenes depicting both human emotion and robotic efficiency.



Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Celebrate Hanami at Garden By The Bay's Sakura Matsuri 2020 - Residents get 50% discount on ticket prices


It is still possible to enjoy hanami (flower viewing), even though your travel plans has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You just need to head down to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay for the Sakura Matsuri - Tale of the Peach Boy.

From now till 29 March, over 300 sakura (cherry blossom) and about 200 momo (peach blossom) trees transform part of the Flower Dome into a Japanese springtime landscape. With over 20 varieties of these blossoms are also set against the backdrop of red torii gates as well as a quaint teahouse.

By the way, tickets to the Flower Dome for Sakura Matsuri, Cloud Forest, Supertree Observatory and Floral Fantasy for Singapore residents are now at 50% discount! Children aged 3 to 12 years are also able to enter these locations for free during the March school holidays. So, this is a family outing and photo opportunity not to be missed!


WHERE FLOWERS NEVER STOP BLOOMING 

This special initiative by Gardens by the Bay aims to stand by local businesses and bring a measure of joy to Singapore residents who have had to cancel their trips to Japan because of COVID-19. From now till 15 March, Gardens by the Bay is offering 500 Singapore residents a chance to visit the Sakura Matsuri for free.

All you need to do is to share what your disrupted travel plans mean to you through the Garden's website. Not only do you get a chance to enter the floral display for free, this offer includes Pan Pacific Singapore's Fun-mily Escape package that has a weekend staycation for 2 adults and 2 children, plus a brunch at Keyaki Japanese restaurant! The entire deal is worth about SGD 798++.

That's not all. Visitors can also receive 30% off their bills at Pan Pacific hotel's Edge, Hai Tien Lo and Keyaki restaurants if they present the Flower Dome's ticket. This offer is redeemable until 30 June 2020.




Here are some are things to do when you are strolling along the Sakura Matsuri garden trail.


Monday, March 9, 2020

The Androids vs Humans Battle continues in HBO's Westworld Season 3, Premiering on March 16

It was such a thrill to be able to recognise locations from our Red Dot Island in the Season 3 trailer for HBO's Emmy® winning drama series WESTWORLD.

Hey, that drone shot is filmed at Marina One. Oooh, isn't that the National Gallery? And Oasia Hotel too? Awesome!

There will be more opportunities for fans to "spot the local landmarks" when the series returns on 16 March at 9 AM, same time as the U.S. telecast. The 8-episode season can be watched exclusively on HBO GO and HBO Asia on Starhub and Singtel TV.

In the last 2 seasons, WESTWORLD revealed a theme park in the future where androids, who were made to satisfy human's darkest desires, were becoming conscious. The battle between artificial life form and humans intensified in Season 2, with the oldest host in the theme park Dolores breaking free and entering into the real world.

Here is where Season 3 begins. In future Los Angeles (with many familiar Red Dot Island buildings and locations!), Dolores is still attempting to start her revolution against humans. Maeve, who was left as "dead" in Season 2's finale, is still in the theme park. She has been tasked by this season's Big Bad named Serac to hunt Dolores down and kill her.

Main cast members Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores), Emmy® winner Thandie Newton (Maeve), Ed Harris (Man in Black), Jeffrey Wright (Bernard), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte), Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs), and Rodrigo Santoro (Hector Escaton) return to WESTWORLD Season 3.

The series, created for television by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, will have brand new characters in this season. They are played by Aaron Paul (Caleb), Vincent Cassel (Serac), Lena Waithe (Ash), Scott Mescudi (Francis), Marshawn Lynch (Giggles), John Gallagher Jr. (Liam), Michael Ealy (Jake) and Tommy Flanagan (Conells).

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Warner TV Asia Celebrates International Women's Day with Women of Wonder


Happy International Women's Day!

To celebrate this occasion, Warner TV Asia is showcasing kick-ass female superheroes and heroines whose personal journeys aim to empower women all over the world.




WOMEN OF WONDER MOVIE SPECIALS

For the month of March, Warner TV Asia is running a WOMEN OF WONDER movie special every Sunday night at 9 PM. Each movie selected shines the spotlight on the beauty and strength of feminine power.

Kicking off on 8 March, on International Women's Day itself, is the scintillating hit movie “WONDER WOMAN”. As Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), the Amazon Princess from Themyscira leaps into our screens with optimism and her unique brand of fierceness. Her adventures takes her from London to the horrifying World War I battlefield in Belgium, in a bid to save humanity and stop the god Ares from creating more chaos.

The other movies on the list are rather odd, to be honest. They are “300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE” (there are the badass Queen Gorgo and enigmatic Artemesia though),  “CATWOMAN” (sadly, not a great movie despite the famous character) and “MAN OF STEEL”. Yes, the last movie is about Superman, but in Red Dot Diva's opinion, one of the best parts of the film was a Lois Lane, who was intelligent, proactive and who actually did some actual investigating as a journalist.

To enjoy these movies in March, tune into Warner TV on Starhub Channel 515 and Singtel Channel 306.

That's not all. For weekly boosts of feminine power, so that you can get pepped up to deal with the challenges of being female, check out these TV series with engaging, relatable DC female superheoes.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Celebrity Photographer Allan Amato Kickstarts A Comic Called PUNCH


Photographer Allan Amato, who has captured stunning portraits of celebrities and personalities that include Stan Lee, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith and Alicia Witt, is now ready to share his venture into writing with a comic book entitled PUNCH.

Red Dot Diva got to know about Allan Amato a number of years ago because she is a huge David Mack fan. David Mack, award-winning artist and creator of the best selling graphic novel KABUKI has worked with his friend Allan for a few projects like The Alchemy of Collaboration, where he would enhance Allan's photos with his brushwork, effectively turning the prints into unique mixed media collage.

Allan Amato shared that the writing of PUNCH took 4 years in the making, with patient mentorship from comic book writer, Grant Morrison. He is now ready to bring the project to life together with artist Jonathan Marks Barravechia, who has hand drawn the panels in the comic.

PUNCH is a supernatural tale about the life altering path taken by a Catholic priest called The Drifter after he had committed an unforgivable sin. He stumbles into a seedy bar where God (aka The Derelict) and the Devil (aka The Deceiver) battle for this soul. God  brings on his infernal Virtues and the Hounds of Heaven, while the Devil calls on the Seven Deadly Sins to the brawl.

In addition to the core creative time hard at work on the graphic novel, other fantastic well-known artists are also contributing to the project, like cover art or splash pages. These artists include Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, Jason Shawn Alexander, Jim Mahfood, Satine Phoenix, Satine Phoenix, Jaw Cooper and Stephanie Inagaki.

What is interesting is how Allan Amato has also visualised and cast actors for the characters in his graphic novel. For instance, Thomas Jane is the Drifter, and Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon of Starz's “AMERICAN GODS” as The Deceiver.

With the help of Kickstarter, the project has already been fully funded for 48 pages. However, stretch goals are still running. If these are reached, the book will have extra goodies and expand beyond the current number of pages for those who pledge for the Hardcover or Limited Edition versions.

Check out for more info about PUNCH at http://inconvenientguide.com, and pledge for one of the Kickstarter levels in order to get a copy!


Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Walking Dead Season 10 Part 2, and Kingdom Season 2 Premiere During COVID-19 Pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding worldwide in real time, two internationally popular TV shows about a zombie apocalypse, are making their return to our screens. They are part 2 of AMC's THE WALKING DEAD Season 10 and Netflix's KINGDOM Season 2.

With news streaming over the social media about people panic buying at supermarkets, hoarding food and essentials as they try to fend themselves from infection, Red Dot Diva thinks that one can pick up a few lessons on what not to do when watching these zombie shows.

Like why the rush for toilet paper? During an apocalypse, Red Dot Diva is going to gun for mineral water. After all, you can barely last 3 days without water. Also, how is anyone going to be able to cook rice, pasta, instant noodles (not talking about Mamee) without water?

Red Dot Diva also feels it is very cathartic to watch fictional characters deal with the aftermath of an outbreak. You can scream at them in frustration from the comfort of your favourite arm chair, or begin to have faith in humanity again, even though the world is going to sh**.


THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 10 Part 2 - started 24 February 2020, Fox TV Asia

The second part of Season 10 of THE WALKING DEAD, a show based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, premiered recently on Fox channels in the SEA region on 24 February, same day as the U.S. telecast.





Sunday, January 26, 2020

Daniel Radcliffe is a Medieval Prince in Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Premieres 29 January 2020 on Warner TV Asia!

For those whose head canon consists of Daniel Radcliffe being a prince, your wish has been granted!

In “MIRACLE WORKERS: DARK AGES”, Daniel Radcliffe returns to the anthology series created by humourist Simon Rich, together with cast mates Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Viswanathan, Karan Soni, Jon Bass, and Lolly Adefope. The series premieres on 29 January 2020 at 10:40 PM, and will air weekly, on every Wednesday, via Warner TV (Star Hub TV CH. 515 and Singtel TV CH. 306).

It is the medieval times, and a group of peasants are trying to cope with the "extreme income inequality, poor healthcare, and widespread ignorance", not to mention the danger of being publicly killed in the village square for any small reason. Meanwhile, the insipid Prince tries to live up to his ancestors' badassery and bloodlust, except that all he is really interested in are his ducks. Yep, you read it right. Ducks.


Check out the “MIRACLE WORKERS: DARK AGES” trailer here:




Sunday, January 19, 2020

Concept Trailer Launched for Singapore Superhero Series, Sacred Guardian Singa!

Soon, Red Dot Island will have another superhero to call our own! And, he is even more awesome than VR Man. His name is Sacred Guardian Singa, and he possesses great power from an ancient source of local and South-East Asian origins.

Sacred Guardian Singa is a passion project by Basil Yeo, Gan Meng Yeow and Aydeel Djoeharie, the founders of tokuAsia. tokuAsia first started out as a community built to foster the appreciation tokusatsu entertainment, which includes the likes of Godzilla and Kamen Rider. Their love for tokusatsu movies has inspired them to do a fan movie for many years, and finally, they worked together with other equally dedicated team members and partners, to bring a Red Dot Island version of a tokusatsu superhero to life via a recently formed company tokuAsia Pictures LLP.

A comic book called SACRED GUARDIANS about the origin of Sacred Guardian Singa and his past lives will be launched this year through Asiapac Books. It will be written by Aydeel Djoeharie with illustrations by Alan Bay. And of course, a Sacred Guardian Singa live action series is expected to be developed by end-2020.

For now, the co-founders of tokuAsia are excited to share the Sacred Guardian Singa concept trailer to fans out there:
 
We are thrilled to finally be able to present the concept trailer for Sacred Guardian Singa to the entire world. It was always our vision to develop a superhero story that resonates with who we are and our place in this world, yet contains enough universal themes that will appeal to someone living on the other side of the globe,” said Basil Yeo, CEO of tokuAsia Pte. Ltd.

The concept trailer gives our audience an idea of the flavour of the Sacred Guardians brand, and the quality that they can expect as we continue to develop the pilot episode, with a view of making a full series by year end. With the incredible level of talent we have on-board the project, and the amazing support that we have received from our partners and the community, we are very confident that we can take the brand to the next level,” said Aydeel Djoeharie, COO of tokuAsia Pte. Ltd.

Red Dot Diva watched the Sacred Guardian Singa trailer when it premiered at Singapore Comic Con last December. She appreciated how the trailer managed to show a Red Dot Island heart at its core, with relatable South-East Asian faces, recognisable accents, well choreographed fight scenes, and an appealing superhero costume (love the white and gold aesthetic and that lion headgear design!).

**For the non-locals, Singa means lion in Sanskrit. It is where the name Singapore comes from, which means Lion City.

CHECK OUT THE SACRED GUARDIAN SINGA TRAILER HERE:





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