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Monday, 29 September 2014

STGCC 2014 Recap: 3 good things

So, I've been sitting on this for a long while, probably years since I ain't that huge on recapping and every time STGCC is over, I would stash these mental Post-its into a KIV archive that is as good as trashing them. Not this year though, and the impetus is what I perceive as the convention's maturation.

Straddling the East and West concept, fans who had expected an explosion of anime/manga infused event often left with lingering trails of disappointment and bitterness, and what do people who felt like they had been crapped upon do a lot? They whine, a tremendous amount; online, on forums, on facebook, on twitter. Cry me a river, people.

So, my number one good thing about STGCC 2014 is:

(1) An identity

Still not getting it

Taking a page from the wisdom of Singapore Police Force, less whining doesn't mean no whining. Though most folks know the differences and the overlapping regions between AFA and STGCC, there's always a few outstanding ones who have adopted martyrdom (masochism).  And they keep wringing over the same point. Get on with the programme! If you're looking for anime/manga merchandise or exclusives, you're at the wrong event. STGCC caters to the designer, vinyl and 1/6 toy collectors. STGCC gets Marvel in. STGCC will have at least one seiyu and a DJ night. These are the three main focus.

STGCC has finally forged an identity, one that celebrates pop culture, but it'll still be a while before it gets hammered through the thickest of skulls. STGCC is not AFA. You can do your part by whittling the grumbling down with your uncaring face. 

(2) Returning guests

Joe Ledbetter came to town in 2009 (the second year when it was still STCC) and swore off returning. I don't know if this is true but it has been passed around a bit and it's a great lead on into my second point. With the exception of almost-a-hunksome-mascot Simone Legno, we have two returning guests from 2013 - kabuki superstar David Mack and panda overlord Aaron Martin - who are back for Singapore loving or chilli crab. The man who draws perfect curves on Psylockes, Harvey Tolibao, is back too, a blast from 2011 when he had a STGCC Captain America variant and for a moment, it went for some crazy 3 digit figure on eBay.

Returning guests is a sign of a healthy convention but given the comparatively smaller scale, striking a balance between perennial favourites and refreshing diversity is critical. That said, it would be nice to see David in 2015.

 (3) Vibrant Artist Alley and Exhibitor Area

These folks must have been to the same lame convention that this guy was at. It's like they stepped through a portal and entered an alternate universe of boring. 

Let's look at what's available:
Angry Woebots - Killer Donut
Frank Kozik - Bird is the word, Rocket Raccoon Labbit, Hateball, Heathrows, Mr Blackwater, Clockwork Orange
Alex Solis - Chunky Knight, artbook
Simone Legno - Unicorno Series 3

On top of the toy guests, there were other toy exhibitors and artists: Collectives Genesis, MightyJaxx, Pobber, Instinctoy, Hidden Fortress, Firestarter Design, littleoddforest, Monster Little, PBK, Daniel Yu, 1000Tentacles, Booth of lost things, Cacooca, Caramelaw, Hands in Factory, Twelvedot, Fluffy House, Damtoys, Roomism, D'creativeaholic, Collective Kush Kush and Mari, Ink and Clog Studio, skl0 and of course, the 1/6 and high end collectible dudes.

The comic peeps have prints, originals, books and even accept commissions. There's even Ichiban Kuji (of which I'm guilty of blowing around $80 on) to satisfy the whiners. If anything, there was too much stuff and too little money. Clearly, if you hang around the CSC retailers, that is all you will see. 

So this wraps up what I think is an awesome STGCC. I will be covering Gamestart in a couple of weeks with Agent W and a new partner!

Friday, 5 September 2014

STGCC 2014 : Lots of Prints!!

urgh time and tide waits for no man... but we'll always have prints...

this year GnB comics will be bringing together a whole slew of talent for their booth with giveaways, prints signings, i've heard it will be Lefty Julian, Alan Quah , Ario Anindito , Rey Villegas , Gary Choo and Sheldon Goh but i leave the discovering to you, here are some prints...

Batman by  Ario Anindito

Kaktus by Lefty Julian
Spider-Woman by Soefara Jafney Jaafar
warrior women by Lefty Julian

Gotham Royal Flush by Noval N. Hernawan: The Art Page

Shawn Yap will be in town with 8Bit Media with the following prints

 Shawn Yap

"This year's STGCC theme for me is "Believe in the Dream" and It's special because I'll be selling not just Prints, but also a limited edition Print-book called "Bubble Pop!", which collects 5 of my newest works (including 3 brand-new art pieces and special "Easter Egg" collectibles specially for this collection)

Print-wise I'll be selling some of the more recent art prints I've released, plus the newest Batgirl piece exclusively for STGCC 2014 - "Justice, Totally." So check them out! So come visit me at Booth C36 & D35"

To see the rest of his works, you can check them out at:

Kelvin Chan a.k.a. Rocketraygun needs no introduction, this year he's exhibiting at Artist Alley booth AA6 with Kinetiquettes with their exclusive statue for pre-order but there will be number of prints available from him 

go check out his deviant page for his art

one of our invited guests is a firm favourite here and he seems to be previewing lots of prints, i'll show a few that he has shown us, he is our Harvey M Tolibao from HMT studios.

oh my get your wallets ready as we havent even managed to check out those by David Mack , Humberto Ramos, Artgerm and many more...

ok catch yall later

check on toys-etc and red dot diva for all the goings on this weekend,here's toy-setc's facebook and twitter and red dot diva's facebook and red dot diva's twitter for action as it happens at  STGCC

STGCC 2014: Media Preview

If something must be said about the Media Preview for STGCC 2014, it would be that it is the start of something awesome. Gone are the stiff chairs and the equally tedious formality, only to be replaced by a casual lounging experience that had the accompaniment of finger food that was not some sad afterthought. It felt cool.

The guests sat around and mingled, and if we felt displaced by unfamiliarity initially, that was quickly replaced by shameless geekines. Evidently, Red Dot Diva led the blaze with her phoenix crown while Agent W and I went behind our lenses and rather promptly at 11.05am, the Preview at The Vault began.

Humberto Ramos, Sekure D, Lenneth XVII and Alex Solis
There was the usual light banter and a couple of questions directed at each of the guests. It was unusually brief followed by an orgy of a selfie moment where again a certain red head appeared again. I swear I do not have an obsession and it's just her super power. 

Almost the Oscars
Mental note to self: Alex Solis is quite the joker. The next segment would have been the round table interview, which has turned out awkward in the past when you get tossed into an unprepared group of interviewers but the stale format is replaced.

The guests did their thing and we could ask questions at any moment, making it so incredibly stress free. I've done my homework so I could concentrate on what's important - the food. There were wedges and tiny burgers and chicken balls.  The sweet momentum meant everything was over in less than 90 mins. If this is truly the preview to a new STGCC, then I'm on board!

STGCC 2014 : Starburn review


Starburn #1 Convention Special Cover
Written by Kelly Bender Art by Brian Balondo, Cristian Docolomansky and Laura Lee

Long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, (TRUMPETS BLASTING)….   this comic does lead you to familiar places and premises…

Starburn #1 Convention Special 
page 1

It starts with a myriad band of offbeat rogues plotting together, on an old smuggler's vessel to engage in the latest caper for a score, with every character’s journey to this point untold, the resulting score turns out to be an unexpected twist and ends with a big splash just as the story is piqueing one's interest..

Starburn #1 Convention Special 
Panel Art by Brian Balondo, Cristian Docolomansky and Laura Lee

The art by Brian Balondo is fun and energetic, I would have preferred more detailed backgrounds and felt the colouring could do with more depth but  I loved the splash pages and the cliffhanger...(best decribed in the end of this review) leaving you wanting more...

Starburn #1 Convention Special Cover
cropped splash page art by Brian Balondo, Cristian Docolomansky and Laura Lee

The story sounds familiar somehow, it’s a fun ride and well paced and it relates to the many beloved sci-fi stories as its billed to be, which lies both its strength and potential kryptonite. It feels like a universe we know and love and we embrace its story and its explosions, but to stand out from the familiar stories like Star Wars, Star Trek, and even the more recent Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy comic and movie. Starburn needs to hit warp speed immediately to escape the clutches of the evil empire and before the bounty hunters encase them in carbonite. 

so does it leave me wanting more? that cliffhanger is reminiscent of those old tv series endings, "tune in next week to see what happens..." I'm extremely curious to see how this ends...

Kelly Bender image from his Facebook and Twitter page

i had the good fortune to bump into Kelly, this afternoon with toys-etc, who was super enthusiastic and filled with good old tales of all the conventions he'd gone to (and all the juicy details), he's here all weekend at STGCC at booth AA96, go say hi, hit him for some old tall tales, grab a comic book, take a "bicep" photo contest, i'll be definitely going to get a copy of herebegeeks review and red dot diva's interview with the man.

woving weporter
check on toys-etc and red dot diva for all the goings on this weekend,here's toy-setc's facebook and twitter and red dot diva's facebook and red dot diva's twitter for action as it happens at  STGCC

Thursday, 4 September 2014

STGCC 2014 Spotlight: The Toy Trail #1

Other than the big names and the big toys from the invited guests, you should ALWAYS wander around the Artist Alley. This year's toy selections are AMAZING and I wouldn't miss it. Here's the first part of what you can expect over the weekend. 

1000Tentacles (AA23)


Word is these babies (seen here previously) have been sold as a set to a collector. They will still be displayed at the booth. Also, they will no longer be one offs. 1000 tentacles will be producing more to meet the demands but I expect differences and variations between future batches and the mastercopies. 

You will also see these 12" anthropomorphised series which they will also be taking pre-orders for.

Booth of Lost Things (AA1)

Designed by Sonny Liew, sculpted by Gary Choo and produced by Mightyjaxx, 100,000 Horsepower is tagged at $120SGD with a run of 50.

Cacooca (AA80)

The Hoodie Panda was supposed to be seated (as seen on the prints included in the super deluxe collectors box that comes with a certificate) and even the production shot seems to suggest that so I'm not too certain what's with the standing pose. Priced at USD$288 and with a run of 100.

Also available would be Panda Classic $105, Panda Hippo (red) $120 (black and gray) $170, Panda Spacesuit $226, Panda Minder $209 and Panda think every night $49. Prices here are in USD.

Caramelaw (AA26)

The $650SGD Kobito has a companion and you can find her highly sought after Blythe dolls up for adoption too. Bag charms, canvas prints, cushion casings. All things cute.

Coolrain Studio (Hands in Factory and Twelvedot) (AA13)

If you don't know APO Frogs, shame on you! Read this first! 2 versions are dropping as planned (Strawberry Banana Split $53USD and Strawberry Banana Split with Choc Fudge $65) (Fudge is referring to the super adorable tiny raincoat!) and there's a third in the picture - black with pink belly! - which I expect to go for $53 as well.

Baby Horn Series 2 will go at $60USD each or $170 for all 3! 

Fluffy House (AA24)

Blogged previously and going at $59.90. You will definitely see the entire roster of happy characters from them.
Little Raindrop $24, Miss Rainbow and Ordinary Bear $39, and Mr Cloud - normal at $42 and gray at $45.