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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

STGCC 2016: GBA X-POST // Getting cute with Jacob Chabot

So here's another edition of cross-posting. This interview should be something quite up my alley since it involves a certain kitty. But I have a higher calling: Hokkaido needs me. So for the moment, I'm going to leave all the gush work to RDD.

Looking for a graphic novel or book that is funny, adventurous and suitable for all ages?

Do a search for the name Jacob Chabot, and a list of lively titles like "Plants vs Zombies", "Hello Kitty", "Spongebob Comics", "X-Babies" and his creator-owned New York Times best-selling book "The Might Skullboy: Garden Warfare" will crop up.

Jacob Chabot, who has been announced as an STGCC guest, is also the writer for Marvel's new "Tsum Tsum" mini series. A limited edition variant of the #1 issue will be available as an exclusive at this year's STGCC

Before Jacob heads to the convention on 10 & 11 September 2016, Red Dot Diva had a chance to bounce a few quirky questions off the prolific cartoonist:

Red Dot DivaYour creative work is known to be fun and humourous. They say that comedians are sometimes the saddest people. Do you agree with that notion?

Jacob: Sometimes, I'm sure that's true. Sometimes they're probably the happiest people! And sometimes they're probably the sleepiest people. What I'm saying is that comedians are complex creatures and may never be fully understood by modern science.

: There have been known to be fights and scuffles for Hello Kitty merchandise in Singapore. What do you think is so special about her, and how do you put that across in the comics?

Jacob: Hello Kitty is a worldwide icon. Her visual is instantly recognizable across the globe, and her simple design allows anyone to identify with her. As a character, she always has a sunny attitude and is a true friend. Nothing can get her down! So, in the stories, it's all about putting her positive nature to the test and seeing how she triumphs!

Exclusive STGCC variant!

Red Dot Diva: I think Tsum Tsums are evil. They are simply too adorable! Do you have a favourite Tsum Tsum character, and why? 

JacobYou're probably right. I like The Hulk because he's basically a big, fluffy, superpowered Hulk baby. That leads to a lot of funny moments in the comic. 

Red Dot Diva: Which Tsum Tsum do you think would be the baddest villain, and are you finding a way to make him/ her turn up in the comic book series? 

JacobIt all depends on who they make into a Tsum Tsum next, but as it stands now, Ultron is probably the top villain. If you want to see how this plays into the comic book, check out issue #2! It's a doozy!

Red Dot Diva: What's the most memorable fan encounter you've ever had?

Jacob: I don't know about anything specific, but it's starting to feel strange seeing the kids that grew up with my work. I'd meet them at conventions when they were like 7 or 8, and then ten years later they're practically an adult! I'm glad they still remember me!

Red Dot Diva: Have you heard much about the fans and comic industry here in Singapore? And what is most exciting to you about your impending trip here as an STGCC guest?

Jacob: I haven't heard much, so I don't know what to expect! This will be my first time in Singapore and I'm really excited about it. I'm especially looking forward to checking out the food!

Haha! It seems like many of the guests seem to be excited about the local Red Dot Island food!

So, dear local geeks - Red Dot Diva knows you know what to do in order to make them feel welcome!!

You can get the STGCC variant when you buy your tickets online or get them onsite. Also, Booth C19 ZakkaSG will be stocking up tiny tiny TsumTsum plushies. Meanwhile, from now till then, I will hatch diabolical plans to get JC to TsumTsum-ify my favourite Marvel characters - Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange!

STGCC 2016: Uamou exclusives even though she's not coming!

I broke the news on Spanky and it's time other Japanese vinyl lovers get the green eye monster for a bit. You're looking at Singapore's exclusive metallic range. Who would have thought bronze, silver and gold would go so well together with just a touch of black. There will be a full range - Uamou, Bastard, Real Uamou and the crown of it all, Mask Uamou.

Here's the breakdown of what is going to be available at STGCC:
  • 25 Uamou / $40USD
  • 5 Bastard / $40USD
  • 6 Mask Uamou / $100 USD
  • 2 Real Uamou / $120 USD

What's my first choice? The Mask Uamou for sure. Be ready. Be strong. Be at Booth B19.

Monday, 29 August 2016

STGCC 2016: Plodding and Pobbering

The shift of the convention to the basement must be depressing for death is still a thing. Pobber is hitting hard, with Huck Gee’s Skullhead Samurai at the helm of the invasion, Twisted Bart, the brains and life of the party, and Roadkill, playing itself. The only wet blanket to the party is Daydream (Nimbus). STGCC-goers will be pleased to know that two of these will be convention exclusives - Roadkill in a rusted patina comes in an extremely small run of 10 while Daydream is limited to just 45. Regardless of how awesome everyone's releases are, I will protest if I don't see some colours soon!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

STGCC 2016 : Stepping up with Stupendous Stephanie Hans

Everyone who has picked up 1602 : Angela Witch Hunter, would surely be mesmerized by that cover of Angela rendered in the woodcut style art that graced the original covers of the first series 1602 (that was witten by Neil Gaiman, coincidentally one of the original creators of Angela, but that's another story...). The cover art and interiors are by our STGCC guest, simply stupendous Stephanie Hans!
1602 Witch Hunter Angela

Grabbing the opportunity to follow her on all the social media, i reached out to her and asked her a few questions and she gamely replied, YAY! : 

W : you mentioned you'll be "travelling for 8 months though 7 countries and 8 conventions", some of which i've gathered are China, Japan, Korea and very soon Singapore, how are you enjoying visiting these countries in Asia, i mean, would it translate to some work that would be inspired by your time here (like David Mack)? or would you intend to publish some autobiographical work of your travels like Craig Thompson's Travelogue?

S : I haven't decided yet what I will do about my travels.  I thought about writing a book, with some illustrations, or a comic book, but really, I didn't start with anything else in mind than finding inner peace, pushing my limits and confront my fears. In a way or another I imagine it will have an impact on my whole self, and since art is a huge part of me, it will also get affected, I just don't know exactly how, but I am sure it will be positive anyway.

W: you mentioned you're a big fan of Neil Gaiman and excited for Angela to come to the Marvel Universe and your "job is to draw a warrior in a really tiny armour & still make her look scary & full of dignity. She's a warrior, an assasin, that's how i'll paint her" whew, ok, are you excited that at the recent SDCC, they announced that they'll be making a new Hasbro Marvel Legends action figure that is based on your/Joe Quesada's design. Do you think that you have succeeded in creating a fearsome warrior?(i personally think you have, i think for her and Wonder Woman, it's believable that they wear little as they are Goddesses/Immortal, i'm not sure about Red Sonja whom i think needs chainmail), and Do you feel any pressure drawing Neil Gaiman's character?

S: I gave Angela my best. I was particulary happy to be able to design her outfit and everybody's in 1602 witch hunter and in Queen of Hel. Concept art is one of my old fantasies. I didn't have a lot of occasions to try my hand on it but each time was deeply satisfying. I didn't know about the hasbro figurine but I hope I can get one. Honestly, all the credit goes to Joe Quesada for the design of the new bikini armor.As for me, I am used to working with a lot of pressure on my shoulders. Deadlines, expectations from fans or from myself already are enough, if I got used to them,  adding the one of working on the creation of Neil Gaiman was not so much more pressure in the end.

Fan Winner Angela Marvel Legends action figure revealed at SDCC 2016 (image from Marvel Toy News!!)

W. your art is extremely beautiful and reminiscent of classical paintings, although i noticed you are a digital artist who will do some traditional painting at the moment, what other characters do you hope or wish to be able to draw/paint?

S: first of all : thanks ! to be honest, I would love to be able to paint every single one of them, maybe even give them a bit of redesign ! That would be great !

Angela Asgard's Assassin #1 and #2

W. Will this be your first time in Singapore, and what have you heard (from your fellow creators who have come to Singapore before) and what do you wish to experience? any food that you have heard about? (its very hot and humid for your info)

S: It will be my first time in Singapore and right now I don't know anything about it beside the fact that fans seem awesome and incredibly helpful. Ho, and apparently food is a very important thing there, so I am curious to try that.

Angela Asgard's Assassin #5 and #6

W. Tell us more about the contest you are having :D on your instagram

S: ho it is finished already but I will certainly do another one when I get back in France. I just Have a lot of books and I am happy to know somebody will be happy to have them.

ok thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions, the last question i was going to ask is which is your favourite recent work but i saw that you have posted your 10 favourite covers done recently on June 7th post so i will include it here for the fans to see.Stephanie Hans' List of her own 10 favourite covers

please check them out! here are some of these beauties!

images from Stephanie Hans

With that, i would just like to end by wishing Stephanie a great time at STGCC and hope that her travels have been useful and fruitful to her and for her!

you can also read a recent interiew with the creators of Angela on Comics Alliance

find out more about her and her art and follow her on instagram,   tumblr, twitter and her facebook
comic weporter 

check out GBA Red Dot Diva and Toys-3tc for all the lowdown on Singapore Toy and Comics Convention!!

Friday, 26 August 2016

STGCC 2016: GBA induges in a little of Mark Torres

Preview of the Ackermansion
Agents RDD and W, went deep with Mark Torres who will be back this year at Booth B19. If you love TMNT, Judge Dread or the X-files comics, this dude is your guy. You can drool over his Mike Mignola-esque aesthetics in the upcoming Tales from the Ackermansion but before that, let's get down to business.

RDD: Sohaib Awan, creator of Jinnrise is of Middle Eastern origin, and hence, is very familiar with the world of jinns. How different were his story-telling styles compared to Tom Taylor, who also wrote a few issues of the series?

Torres: The back-ups I did with Sohaib was ala “Marvel way”, plot-based. He’d give me a general idea of what’s supposed to happen on a page, then I break it down to how I feel would best capture the story, especially the beats per panel. With Tom, it was more detailed scripting, he lays it out per page and panel, camera angles and specific graphic elements.

Different approaches, both equally fun to work with.

Jinnrise #3 
RDD: Jinnrise is steeped in Middle Eastern mythology about the jinns or "genies". They are actually very different from what most people think about when you mention "genies" - the Westernized translation and more pop-culturally known version of the those beings. What were the new things you learnt about jinns when you were illustrating for the series?

Torres: The world that Sohaib is building with Jinnrise is MASSIVE! Literally spanning not only continents, but also galaxies & eras, with a narrative bursting with many possibilities. Qualities akin to one of the most beloved sagas, Star Wars (both Sohaib and myself, being huge fans).

It was awesome to now only draw the various Jinns already inhabiting the world, but design new ones too. Taking inspiration from Sohaib's notes of these mythical creatures watching over mankind and cohabiting the planet, even adaopt to certain countries. There's indeed more to the "Genie in a Bottle" concept. A bit on the sinister side even. Wink!

Must know STGCC fact: Mark worked together with guest Tom Taylor on Jinnrise! One can only guess if there would be any special event involving both writer and illustrator! Moving to Agent W!

W: When are you releasing your own creator owned work?

Torres: Creator-owned has always been a main goal. Anything more and I’d have to sic Liam Neeson on you.

W: Having worked on covers, some interiors for Zombie vs Robots, Judge Dredd, who would you like to draw next?

Torres: I maintain a short(ish) bucketlist outside my IDW family: Hellboy/BPRD (Dark Horse), Spawn/Darkness (Image), Daredevil/Punisher/Moon Knight/Ghost Rider (Marvel), Batman/Hellblazer (DC).

W: Any upcoming gigs coming up?

Torres: New work can be found via Famous Monsters / American Gothic Press’s Tales from the Acker-Mansion, a star-studded anthology in honor of the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman’s 100th birthday. As well as a cover for an upcoming series from Action Lab Entertainment. There’s a couple in the oven as well that’s just bout to pop.

I've never seen him work digital. Also, my commissions. *Shameless*
W: Do you prefer analog or digital and what is the future of illustrating comics with the digital comics scene taking some buyers off monthly floppies?

Torres: Analog or digital…I’m biased to the former because I love the feel of lead/ink touching paper, and the fact that there’s no CTRL+Z/Undo, so all the years drawing and the lessons learned be it through other media or in real life, are constantly put into practice. Plus, the happy accidents. Though Digital brings with it convenience, being mobile when I’m not in my home studio, or for fixes, so I’m not against it either.

I think the industry’s taken critical steps to the right direction with the digital format. As with everything in this world, there’s no fighting the future, and with society living more of a “fast food” culture, you really need to deliver the goods straight to the consumers’ hands, because not everyone have the luxury anymore of heading out to a shop to pick up books, especially for casual walk-ins, just playing it by chance to score specific titles. There just needs to be a balance so that everyone (publisher, creators and readers) benefit equally out of it. Brick and mortar shops are still essential, and a great way to enjoy the hobby, especially with other enthusiasts.

W: This isn't your first rodeo in Singapore 😃 what do you hope to see and experience at this year's show? Hottoys? Urban art? Cosplayers?

Torres: It’s always the people. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The Philippines and Singapore share a mutual appreciation for pop culture events, so the goodies and activities are never that far apart. The experience makes it always something to be excited for.
Affordable art!
I will definitely be hanging out with old friend Mark, or JD. Remember, Booth B19. He has a stash of loot available and if you like something a little more personal or customised, hit him up for some sweet commissions. He's accepting pre-con orders at

Also, thanks to Agent RDD and W for doing the heavylifting! 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

STGCC 2016: Spotlight on Mame Moyashi

toysetc: Mame Moyashi is a trio. How did you come up with the name and what does it mean?

MM: The full name should be Mame Moyashi Shacho. In Japanese, Mame Moyashi means Little Beans and for anyone who watches enough anime, Shacho is the respectful term for Chairman. It might seem like it came from the idea of how small we are as a company but we produce toys that are big in the wow factor, but no, it's just for fun.

toysetc: Well, your toys are indeed packing punches. All of them revolves around food and in particular, sashimi. There's Maguro (tuna), Badass (lobster) and also the 2 new figures Tako and what seems like to be a stack of Uni. Can you tell us more about these food kaiju?
MM: You got Tako right. The other should be Awabi LOL. We are not aware of the food production chain and beyond the slices on the plate, most people have never seen before a complete tuna. I wanted to start a conversation, especially for sushi-eating folks so Maguro was born - head + sashimi + tail. This is the fish.

toysetc: So, are they making the ultimate culinary sacrifice or coming back from revenge?
MM: Neither. As much as there is an embedded commentary, we are creating a universe for them. Clearly Badass is the evil boss, and Maguro hides from him.
toysetc: From the sound of it, it looks like it's going to be some great comedy. I can't wait for you to reveal more of the backstory. Now, if there are no limitations, what is the perfect toy you would make?
MM: I would like to have a toy imbued with a soul, to make it come alive.
toysetc: Thank you very much for your time. Is there anything you would like to say to Singapore? 🙂
MM: Singapore is a great country and I've heard people are very kind. Please let me move there!

STGCC 2016: Foxy and Xin from Wetworks

STGCC-goers would really need to keep an eye on spending. The list of goodies keeps expanding but if you need a heads up, Wetworks Foxy and Xin will be a good purchase. A gold convention exclusive colorway with a black rub, this sullen pair comes extremely limited. At just 20 10 sets (he just did a quality inspection!), the only thing that will decide if they will fly off the shelf is the price point. Carlo is still working on it but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the magic number is 120!

They really remind me of the anime movie The Boy and the Beast.

First posted on Spankys!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

STGCC 2016: Flabslab x Koraters x T9G reveals Byron & Rangeron exclusives!

If there's anything you need to know about Byron and Rangeron, just know this - they don't last minutes after the doors open. The numerous event exclusives are a constant source of frustration for international collectors, and even if you have access to the exhibition (oooo jealous much!), the queues are insane. I've learnt to cope with the crushing sadness, skimming over announcements as fast as my lingering heart can bear.

So, it's with great pleasure that I reveal STGCC's marbled Byron exclusive. The mastermind simply dropped off the Flabslab signature black and gold Byron on Instagram but of course, I have more information. There will be 2 colourways (see my super special picture below!) in a limited run of 160. 80 black and white and 80 black and gold Byron and Rangeron, and if you break it down even further, it's just 40 of each.

Details are scarce but from what I know, it will be lottery-based and each ticket is only entitled to one blingbag purchase. The lottery will be done over two days of the convention and there will be likely other eligibility requirements to discourage scalpers. Good going Singapore! *beams*

This was first posted to Spankys!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

STGCC 2016: Mighty offerings from Mighty Jaxx

Mighty Jaxx is having a morbid STGCC party with all things skullish and dead. It's time to plan and prioritise your buy list because 2016 is the bumper crop year. Seriously, I have never seen a better drool-worthy selection. It's certainly putting Singapore on the map and hopefully it can catch up to Taipei Toy Festival.

The only way to top Jason Freeny's Micro Anatomic last year is to rainbow-fy it. Everybody knows, for a fact, that if it's rainbow, it's good to go - rainbow churros, rainbow lattes, rainbow handrolls. So I mightily approve of this. In fact, I demand that there be more colours in this! Think big, think pantone colour chart big.

Rainbow Anatomic will be sold in boxes of 3. To get the seventh colour, you have to purchase a set. Who wants half a rainbow anyway?

Also from Jason Freeny are the convention exclusives XXRay Batman and Green Lantern. If you've been collecting the series, these two are must-haves. Limited to 500 onsite, you can get a matching horsie for them.

Next up is the revival of Huck Gee's Gold Life series - a world populated with anthropomorphic samurais and ninjas. First up in the series is Soul Collector (Shadow version), wielding a tinier version of what could easily have been a Cloudbuster from Final Fantasy. How big is this geta-wearing mercenary going to be? Scant details on that but this will be a convention exclusive as well, limited to 500 pieces. 

This. This will be the super exclusive. There's only 50 of  Lauren YS's Skull Girl (Ectoplasm) which comes in a translucent gradient, and though, as many have pointed out, the illustration looks more dynamic, it doesn't lessen its awesomeness. I would get it, if it looks less like a creepy Japanese doll... 

Mighty Jaxx have two more in the line-up but there's zero details on them. I've managed to dig out pictures from their emailer and facebook so hang on tight!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

STGCC 2016: GBA XPOST // The diva speaks to Brooke Allen

*Article is cross-posted. Original by the ever-fab Diva!

Have you been counting down to Red Dot Island's geekiest event of the year?

Red Dot Diva has been keeping track of the countdown. And it's now 31 days to STGCC! The pop-culture event is held at Halls E and F, Basement 2 of MBS' Sands Convention Centre on 10 & 11 September.

A list of interesting and well-known guests ranging from comic book creators, concept artists and illustrators, toy designers and cosplayers have already been announced, and among them is Brooke Allen, one of the creators of award-winning graphic novel series "Lumberjanes", published by BOOM! Studios.

Red Dot Diva loves her lively quirky art style. Peek into Brooke's tumblr and you'll spot drawings of monsters, funny animation gifs, a peek into her various works in progress, and many tributes to her pet dog, Linus. Brooke not only draws, she also crafts unique resin figurines and collectibles!
To get more local fans acquainted with Brooke and her work, Red Dot Diva got her to answer a few nosy questions:

Red Dot Diva: How would you describe "Lumberjanes" to new/ future readers? 

Brooke: "Lumberjanes" is light hearted all ages comic that centers around five girl scouts who fight monsters, solve mysteries, and champion friendship above all things! If you’re a fan of Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, or Saturday morning cartoons in general it should be right up your alley.

Red Dot Diva: When you started drawing professionally, was there a conscious method/ technique you used to have your art evolve to become more and more "you"? As in, something that would be instantly recognized as Brooke Allen's artwork. 

Brooke: Initially when I started drawing professionally, I gave very little conscious thought to my own style, I mostly was just focused on drawing something that looked appealing to me. Working on "Lumberjanes" I had to adapt my own natural style to accommodate Noelle Stevenson's covers and character designs resulting initially in a kind of a clunky hybrid but the more I drew in this style and refined it I felt pretty comfortable. I think my best work is in the later issues. My style nowadays is dynamic and energetic like earlier work but I’m trying to reign it in and refine some of the sloppiness. Ultimately if people look at my art and liken it to a Saturday morning cartoon both in style and in spirit then I’d be pretty happy. 

Red Dot Diva: "Lumberjanes" has touched the lives and imagination of so many girls and women readers. Has the success made a big impact to any of you and the other creators’ thought process for the series? 

Brooke: I think the success was definitely not something I was ready for and suddenly I felt very much like I was learning how to draw these characters and this world under a spotlight. But I think the success has had very little in the way of changing the initial outline or feeling of the story, if anything it's just put the pressure on to make it better, more thoughtful, and more inclusive. 

Red Dot Diva: Who are some of your comic book creator heroes? 

Brooke: Such a hard question! I have so many comic book heroes but a few are Chynna Clugston, Claire Wendling, Cyril Pedrosa, Enrique Fernandez, Akira Toriyama, Katsuhiro Otomo and Walt Kelly. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my cartoonist friends like Coleman Engle, Paulina Ganucheau, Carey Pietsch, Carolyn Nowak, Natalie Andrewson, Rebecca Mock, and Jen Bartel.... And I could go on! 

Some Street Sharks by Brooke Allen

Red Dot Diva: Before making your way here to Singapore, have you asked around to see what interesting things you could do and try while you are here? 

Brooke: I have! I don't know anyone personally who has been (I'll feel like quite the tourist with my Lonely Planet Guide to Singapore in hand) however I have had some lovely recommendations from helpful people on Twitter (thanks guys!). I love nature so I will definitely be checking out the zoo (I hear it's one of the best in the world!) and botanical gardens. I'll definitely have to seek out any local shops selling toys and comics. And last but not least: food! I’m pretty intrigued by the carrot cake and I might just have to waive my vegetarian diet to try out this Chicken Rice I’m hearing so much about (sorry Chickens)! If anyone has some other great recommendations don't hesitate to tweet me at @brookeaallen on Twitter.  

Red Dot Diva: That would be the easiest thing for us to do! We love our food, so you will definitely find people who will be very eager to take you around to their favourite food haunts! 

This will be Brooke's first time visiting Red Dot Island, so please make her feel super-welcome at the convention! For fans who like to get their sisters, daughters or young female friends started on a comic book series, buy them a "Lumberjanes" comic and get them to come to STGCC and meet Brooke

Also, go on... feel free to make your best carrot cake, chicken rice and local food recommendations to Brooke on Twitter. Red Dot Diva knows you have your favourite hawker stalls right at your fingertips.


toysetc: That is a challenge I gladly take up. The best carrot cake in Singapore? That's either Bedok or Red Hill easily but be prepared to have your insides well-oiled from the experience!