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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!

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