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Saturday, 12 September 2015

STGCC 2015 Chatting with Cool Camilla d'Errico

image from Singapore Toy and Comic Convention 2015

When I heard that Camilla d’Errico and Adi Granov were returning for this year’s STGCC, I squealed in delight, well, did an internal dance of joy, more like…to not lose my cool...

This was her second time in Singapore and we asked how she liked it. The first time she was here, was in 2009, and she felt that it had grown bigger with it being previously held in a (Suntec) mall and there were more general public as compared to the previous time where there seemed to be more hardcore fans. (she also jokingly mentioned other than the haze and the evil red sun, :D)

Of the eastern and western influences to her art, Camilla talked about her start in comics and being inspired by Top Cow’s Mark Silvestri, Michael Turner and Joe Benitez. At that time 16 years ago, there were hardly any manga influences but with Sailor Moon and other anime showing up, non spandex comics appealed to her. She appreciated the character based stories and the diverse storylines and the fact that the protagonist didn’t always survive the series. It was a revelation to her and she dove in to a whole new style, that eventually proved to be even more “manga” than what the mainstream Japanese editors were used to. Today her style has evolved to one that can be seen in her art and comics.
Camilla d'Errico's Tanpopo from Boom Studios (available from Kinokuniya Bookstore in Singapore)

Of being asked what was the best and worst things that happened to her as an artist, Camilla mentioned about it as akin to Peter Pan, “not having to grow up” but also doing her art as work and not as a hobby, and she recounted of how she met her husband in an art class and how she kept asking him his rationale for doing art and realized that she had lost a slight bit of innocence when one has to balance it as job and a hobby. She also mentioned that it has been a surrealistic experience of from being a fan to having fans of her own, and how she sees herself in them. (Here’s where I helpfully chimed in that in between the years she’d been away, she’d gotten hitched and congratulated her, and led to my question of whether she had less time to do her art…) She gainfully said “indeed!” She’d been balancing a lot of work, but we gathered she was in good hands as she’d often bounce ideas of him and even collaborated on a painting with him!

At STGCC, Camilla’s painting image “Puff” from her website
At STGCC, Camilla has new framed and unframed original artworks (info from her website)

Of which was her favourite piece (of art), she shared that she couldn’t possibly choose (like which was a favourite child) but she did share with us a piece which led to a breakthrough of sorts for her and to an evolution in her art, “letting go something that I liked”
She realized she could do art for a living when she illustrated a story of Alaska and Huskies instead of writing it for a written project. Which led to her discovering sequential art in comics, painting on boards which eventually led to painting on canvases.
her calling card! please excuse my scribbles...

On diversity in comics today, Camilla mentioned that previously there were hardly any women in comic books in the past, but these days there isn’t a need to hide the fact that one read or created comics. On trying different medium, she said that she liked the current medium she was working on but she was experimenting on the subject matter and constantly seeking to surprise us!
visit her at her booth B29! image from her website

Do come to STGCC this weekend to visit Camilla at her booth B29! Its filled with magical and wonderful illustrations and art and beautiful artifacts!!

find out more on her website
follow her on Facebook and Instagram and twitter
W, Camilla D'errico and Ed
wandering weporter 

check out Red Dot Diva and Toys-3tc for all the lowdown to Singapore Toy and Comic Convention 2015

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

STGCC 2015 GBA X-Post: You love biceps? You love Insta? GOOD

The Glam Bloggers Alliance's Instagram Contest held at during last year's STGCC was so much fun, that they have decided to run one again this year!

Attendees of the convention can pump up their biceps and FLEX to take part in the 2nd edition of the STGCC Biceps Instagram Photo Contest! This time, there will be a special Bonus Round, with the help of the team of Global Beards.
Here is how one can join in the fun:

Terms & Conditions: Glam Bloggers Alliance (GBA) STGCC Biceps Instagram Photo Contest

Pose a selfie or pose with a friend or STGCC guest showing at least one arm’s biceps in the photo. Three of the most creative interesting posed photos with caption wins.

Note: If you are posing the photo with someone or having someone to pose in the pic, please do remember to ask the person for permission to be included in the photo. Stalker pics will not be accepted as a contest entry.

For reference, check out @jaelurp, one of the winners from last year's contest!

Here's another sample of an acceptable photo, with Red Dot Diva and writer Kelly Bender as models! ;) 

PHWOAAAR! Look at those biceps!

To join, simply:
1. Follow @reddotdiva and @kaiju_ed on Instagram
2. Add a posed photo of any STGCC Biceps that you have spotted during the Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention on 12 - 13 September 2015 to your Instagram account, together with an interesting caption. You have to include all three hashtags #STGCCBiceps #STGCC @reddotdiva @kaiju_ed
3. The photo must be clearly taken during the convention on 12 - 13 September 2015. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Blog Alliance) reserve the right to reject entries of photos obviously taken somewhere else.
4. This contest is only applicable to mobile phone users.
5. Entries must be tweeted in between 12 – 13 September 2015 during the showfloor official opening hours of STGCC.
6. Winners will be chosen on 22 September 2015. The judges will be Glam Bloggers Alliance (and maybe, a representative from the STGCC organizing team). The Glam Bloggers Alliance consist of the editorial team of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc. The judges' decision will be final.
7. They will be notified and tagged on the same date via Instagram, with more information on prize collection.
8. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice. This contest is in no way sponsored or administered by the organizers of STGCC.

Submit your entry, and be one of THREE (3) Instagram followers of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc to receive the following:


1. "Kick-Ass 2" movie poster signed by director Jeff Wadlow and Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (kindly donated by Wayne Rée!)

Various comics to be given away

2. "Batman and Robin" comic signed by Cameron Stewart (refer to general pic above, 2nd left at bottom)
3. 1x "Star Wars" - Heir to the Empire (refer to general pic above, 2nd right at bottom)

4. 1x "The Walking Dead" random figurine pack from Todd McFarlane's Building Set series

5. 1x Instinctoy – Ice Liquid series (colour to be determined later, above pic is sample only) 


1. Giant "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" movie poster

2. 2x comics - "Band of Heroes" / Wonder Woman/ "Star Wars" - Shadow of the Empire (refer to general pic above, 2nd & 3rd at top; rightmost at bottom)

3. 1x Marvel Ultimate Spiderman Agent Venom action figure

4. 3x postcards obtained from SDCC 2014 - One Piece/Ranma 1/2/ promo for AnimeExpo 2015 

5. 3x of Free Comic Book Day/ promo comics     


1. 1x Marvel Ultimate Spiderman notebook
2. Signed "Starburn" comic by Kelly Bender (refer to general pic above, 1st left at top)
3. 1x "Teen Titans" comic (refer to general pic above, 1st left at bottom)

4. 1x set of 10 pins (from STGCC 2014's Book Actually booth)

 5. 4x of Free Comic Book Day/ promo comics + 1x Marvel Secret Wars New York Bulletin

There will also be a SPECIAL BONUS Round!! This will be the STGCC Biceps and Global Beards segment!

To join, do the following:
1. Follow @reddotdiva @kaiju_ed @dangergene @waynereewrites on Instagram
2. Take a photo of any STGCC Biceps *PLUS* a Beard together with an item purchased at the Global Beards Booth (Artist Alley AA98) during the Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention on 12-13 September 2015. Post this to your Instagram account with an interesting caption. You have to include all three hashtags #STGCCBicepsBeard #STGCC@reddotdiva @kaiju_ed @dangergene @waynereewrites
3. The photo must be clearly taken during the convention on 12-13 September 2015. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to reject entries of photos obviously taken somewhere else.
4. This contest is only applicable to mobile phone users.
5. Entries must be tweeted in between 12 – 13 September 2015 during the showfloor official opening hours of STGCC.
6. Winners will be chosen on 22 September 2015. The judges will be Glam Bloggers Alliance & the Global Beards team. The Glam Bloggers Alliance consists of the editorial team of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc, while the Global Beards team consist of Gene Whitlock and Wayne Ree. The judges' decision will be final.
7. They will be notified and tagged on the same date via Instagram, with more information on prize collection.
8. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice. This contest is in no way sponsored or administered by the organizers of STGCC.

Submit your entry, and TWO (2) Instagram followers will be selected. They will each win either a signed book by the Global Beards team or an art piece (e.g. sketch by Gene Whitlock).

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

STGCC 2015: the totally unbiased SG50 Unicorno review

When it comes to tokidoki, it is best to remember that Singapore is home to some of the most kiasu and kiasi fans in the world and steer clear of their war path. Thankfully, I managed to get my hands on a Unicorno without having a wild encounter with one of those types!

Now, this is exclusively made for STGCC and marked to celebrate our nation's 50th Jubilee just because it can be done.  I've already expressed my opinion on the design so the only records this review is going to break is one of brevity (NOT) and irrelevance. 

There's only 1000 of these and only sold bundled, VIP or daily passes, so it does add to the limited edition-ness and its resale value. eBay has already sold a handful, normally ending around the USD$65 range but most are going to get offloaded for a premium after the signing session this weekend.

The importance of using a light box
I don't hate it but it's not going to be friends with the rest of my collection. It's awkward like that. It might have been cuter if it came in the smaller 3' version but you'll have to settle for 5' of ... this. I'm quite fond of the Merlion which looks like our longkang guppy with its colourful tails fanning out, and I am quite happy ignoring the Unicorno it came with. This Unicorno just feels like it's being watched by our gahmen, ever ready to swoop in at the slightest hint of a riot of colours, so it's allowed a couple of token splashes, restrained and cautious. 

As for QC, the usual smudges and smears that you'll find in the 3' series and at SGD$30, you should not be expecting a Sideshow Collectible showpiece. 

Overall: ★★★ 

Thanks Agent W for the horsie!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

STGCC 2015 Up and at'em, ATOM HUES!!!!

Who is this Atom Hues and why do I need to gaze at the beautiful art he draws?
If you haven’t realized who is coming, where have you been? Arguably one of the most distinctive comic artists today, Adam Hughes started on Maze Agency and Ghost before moving to Justice League of America.

His beautifully drawn yet portraying the power and strength of Wonder Woman during his cover run is probably one of the greater ones in the history of the Amazonian Princess. There was once a time when Joss Whedon was considering making a WW movie, and the subsequent teaser poster was drawn by none other then AH! Unfairly labeled as a “cheesecake” artist, when asked how he felt about it, he replied with great humour that instead of embracing that title, he’d just give it a warm handshake, if that’s not hilarious, I don’t know what is…

Today his works consist on covers on Fairest, Zatanna, Serenity and many more.
Do check out his book "Cover Run The DC Comics art of Adam Hughes", his AH! official site and FAQs before asking him any questions. (Which we will be in 3 days time!)

wandering weporter 

check out Red Dot Diva for all the lowdown to STGCC in 5 days!

check out Adam Hughes STGCC page follow hi on facebook and Twitter 
and his art on his deviantart page
here are some covers you should get him to scribble on!
His Coffee Table Book with all his great covers from DC
"In her hands she holds a scroll for knowledge and a shield for defense, which is how i envision her warrior ways should be interpreted" Pg 29 Cover Run DC Comics art of Adam Hughes
Add caption
Wonder Woman #172 and #173
Wonder Woman #168 and #169
Wonder Woman #164 & #165

Gen 13 Ordinary Heroes

Fairest #1 and Hero 2011
Ghost Tradepaperback and Serenity
Maze Agency #1 and trade paperback
Ghost #1 and JSA Classified #1
Back Issue magazine and JSA Classified #2
Power Girl #1 and #2
Vampirella #2 and Red Sonja

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

STGCC 2015 GBA X-Post: Red Dot Diva and Inappropriate Biceps Perving

While scrolling through the list of peeps who will be exhibiting at this year'sSTGCC Artist Alley, the Glam Bloggers Alliance noticed an unfamiliar Aussie name.

All that was stated in the blurb on STGCC's website was: "James Gilarte - Australian Comic Book Writer of series such as Vengador, A Fractured Mind, Time Vox & more."

As it is very unusual for Aussie creators to make their way to STGCC by themselves, Red Dot Diva did some mini research on James Gilarte.

She found out that he has written a comic series called "Vengador" that features a teen by the name of Eric Martin who adopts a vigilante-style alter-ego to fight corruption and injustice in his city.

It also didn't hurt that James owns a pretty impressive set of biceps, courtesy of some gym peektures that Red Dot Diva found on his Instagram.

*Approve! Chop! Pass!*

To help STGCC attendees get to know James a little better before the show, Red Dot Diva got in touch with him and asked him a few nosy questions:

Red Dot Diva: Do tell us a little about yourself. 
James: I would say I’m a huge nerd and I love it. I work in IT, I read/write comics and a huge movie buff. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia. 

Red Dot Diva: You have a comic series called "Vengador". Tell us what Vengador is about. 
James: I have a few series but yes, "Vengador" was the first comic I ever wrote. Essentially at it’s core, "Vengador" is all about making a difference in the world. We look at one individual’s perspective on how he sees the world and questions himself on how he can make a difference, which actually takes him down a path which he never would’ve thought he would go down. 

Red Dot Diva: What inspired you to start writing his story, and what/ who are the influences that shaped the characters in Vengador? 
James: A lot of what I write is from personal experiences. I take the emotions of everyday life and put them into the story. The way "Vengador" came about was the fact I was looking at the world we live in, I noticed a number of things which could change, whether it be from an economic or social aspect and questioned how could someone not govern by rules make a difference. 

Red Dot Diva: What were the challenges you faced while working on it? 
James: It really just comes down to time. I find the biggest challenges is finding the time to write several comics and ensure that you hit those release dates and goals you set for yourself. 

Red Dot Diva: How did you hear about STGCC? 
James: It’s actually a funny story in a way because I was on the Gold Coast in Queesland, Australia doing another comic convention and there was a couple who were visiting the Gold Coast from Singapore, and we had a mutual friend. That friend actually told them to go to the convention to see me at my booth and they got my books and told me about STGCC and it sounded fantastic. So from that I knew I had to come. 

Red Dot Diva: What do you hope to gain by attending STGCC? 
James: I want to make more friends really. These conventions are a real community, everyone who attends, attends for a reason and we all share something in common. So I really want to meet more people and welcome them into the Vengador family so they have the opportunity to read about my characters. 

Red Dot Diva: Are there any other upcoming books you are working on? 
James: Yes, I have a series called “A Fractured Mind” which is a psychological crime thriller being released next year as well as a kids picture book called “Spooks College” and a cyber crime thriller as well in the works. I like to be busy haha 

Red Dot Diva: What other conventions have you attended or worked in? Do you have a memorable fanboy comic convention experience to share with us? 
James: I attend a lot of the Australian conventions such as Oz Comic Con and Supanova. I won’t forget my first convention though and that was going to a convention in Sydney and seeing a lot of R2-D2’s from star wars running around and I love Star Wars right so I was hooked from that point. I even joined a group which was all about building R2-D2’s from that experience. 

Red Dot Diva: Would this be your first time visiting Singapore? What do you hope to see/ experience while you're here? 
James: No, this would be my second time. I went there end of last year as my best friend was getting married and I was his best man in Penang so I stopped at Singapore for a few days. I don’t know if there is anything I want to see particular this year but maybe Universal Studios and eat some good food :) 

Red Dot Diva: Fun question: Confession time - what is one of your guilty pleasures? :) 
James: Guilty pleasure? I love listening to Backstreet boys. haha!

Well, James should be pleased to know that there are many, many BSB fans on Red Dot Island too!

So everyone, do give James a hot and sunny (sweaty? Hahaha) welcome for his first visit to STGCC. While wandering around Artist Alley, remember to drop by Booth #AA66 for a chat with him and to check out his comics!


As a side note, it must be announced that I approve and mandate all forms of inappropriate biceps perving but not so much of Backstreet boys.

The Story of Instinctoy

The journey of Hiroto Ohkubo began with a Be@rbrick. 

He was doing design and fine art and, other than having an growing interest in toys, he knew next to nothing about them but he was drawn to the three inch figure. This was Be@rbrick's first run. It was an opportune moment, just before the explosion of global interest in designer toys and he decided to act on his childhood dream of having a toy that showcases his artistic expression. 

For the next three years, rest and vacations were something other people had. To dismiss the success that Instinctoy is having today, to call it a lucky break, would be to ignore the hundreds of drafts, many of which were just spent on perfecting the position of the eyes, ears and paws while coming up with the final version of Inc; the thousands of hours poured into market research, trying to understand the volatility of appeal before he picked up enough confidence in a design that would win the audience over without compromising his aesthetics; the solo trips to Hong Kong to find a factory willing to bring his toy to life, and then the process of getting the eyes right, one that  spanned two years (start of 2006 to end of 2007).

Inc was born, a marriage of inspiration between Be@rbrick and Venom, and while the alien organism wraps Spider-Man with a sexy black and almost indestructible living armour, Liquid engulfs the bear in a cute drippy mess, happily positioning itself in the rear. Riding the surge of interest in toy collectibles, Inc sold out, run after run and it was near to impossible (a very small number was set aside for international sale) to get one outside of Japan without taking a stinging hit to the wallet. 

Naturally, Hiroto-san quit working for other people. 

The overwhelming response for Inc drowned out the detractors, most of who cared little for a sloppy T9G ripoff, and Hiroto’s impeccable standards only kept fans happy and returning. There was none of the airbrush approach. He never settled for going round the colour wheel. He strove to make each release as different from its predecessors as possible, experimenting with Mazoria, flocking, GID, GID accents, glitter and fades.

Things took off, like at an astronomical speed. 

Hiroto-san went on to create Liquid to explain how Inc came to be and evolved it to become Liquid Erosion, collaborated with Banana Virus on Pandemic, came full circle with his own Be@rbrick, made a pumpkin head  for a Halloween exclusive Inc, paid a tribute to his biggest fan in Taiwan with the eponymous Vincent kaiju, hooked up with Blackseed for Muckey meets Fluffy and released Baby and Mini versions of Inc.

Before he was 30, he had his own shop, a retail space that focuses on customer experience with elaborate window displays so one could enjoy the seasonal sensations.

Hiroto-san will be back for his third STGCC experience and he's practically bringing his shop over. There will be new characters and true convention exclusives! Booth AA92 and AA94 is where you want to be if you want some bear loving.