Friday, August 30, 2013

STGCC 2013: Introducing Joe Mad (SGCollect Exclusive!)

Article "KOPE" #3 - Red Dot Diva brings you Agent W's mad article on special STGCC guest, Joe Madureira. 

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Bursting into the scene and reinvigorating the look of X-men in 1994, Joe Madureira, known as Joe Mad!, 's dynamic Japanese animation style changed how we viewed the X-men for an entire generation. Not only content with giving X-men's Rogue (Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell's comic) Major Kusanagi's hairstyle in the alternate story "Age of Apocalypse", his manga inspired look for X-men was not only seen in comics but in toys as well.

Just as suddenly as he shot into stardom, he left Marvel in 1997 to go to Cliffhanger! with Humberto Ramos and JScott Campbell. Creating and crafting "Battlechasers", a sword and sorcery fantasy quest adventure, it started strong but the comic slowed and soon, after 10 issues, Joe Mad! left comics to venture into developing computer games on his own. Leaving a void in all our (my) fanboy hearts....developing Darksiders with Joe Kelly.

STGCC 2013: Top 5 Moments (ToysEtc + Red Dot Diva Exclusive Fan Service Variant)

ToysEtc regurgitates his top 5 moments of the Media Preview last Thursday while Red Dot Diva parries and adds more spice to his hot list.

1. The Media
Meeting friends, old and new, at the convention is an annual affair. This is usually the only time our lives intersect and this picture distills the essence - the overwhelming enthusiasm, the glorious geekiness and the must-take-picture-trophy fervor. Meanwhile, J*RYU's face tells another story.

Clicks and flashes

Red Dot Diva: Dude. What only time? We recently bonded over pandas, remember? :|


STGCC 2013: Untie Those Pursestrings and Grab Some COOL Goodies!


STGCC officially opens its door at 10 am tomorrow! Exhibitors and guests are already prettifying their booths at the convention centre at this moment.

There is just soooooo many wondrous things to buy at this year's convention that Red Dot Diva feels very very $orry for your bank account.

She knows you would already be quite familiar with the exclusives from the regular exhibitors, like Hot Toys, Tokidoki, and such. In addition, on her various articles leading up to this weekend (scroll down her blog archive on the left for the links), Red Dot Diva has also highlighted sketchbooks, figurines and art prints that will be available at their respective Artist Alley booths. One thing for sure, the local and regional creators have sure upped their game this year!

And still, there are a few MORE cool stuff that she thinks are worth loo$ening up your pur$e $tring$ for. Ready to break open your ATM / credit card/ hard cash/ sell a kidney?
Here goes!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: "Daredevil: End of Days" Hardcover - An Intense Coda for A Superhero

When she arrived at the page in "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC) where the titled superhero met his violent demise, Red Dot Diva's naturally morbid thoughts could not help but ponder what her last word(s) will be.

Would it be something uttered in a sinister fashion, odd and multi-syllabic like "Amortization". Or perhaps, it might be something whispered in reverence: "..coffeeeeee..".

In Daredevil's case, his last utterance was a cryptic word with no obvious meaning. Mapone.

But it was one that unravelled different reactions from the people surrounding Matt Murdock's battle-scarred life. Or death, as it may well be in this case.

(Quick Diva Interruption: Yes there will be spoilers in this review!)

In "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC) , its award-winning writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack have chosen to play out an intense and emotive coda following the very dramatic end of the superhero at the hands of Bullseye in a street in Hells Kitchen.

Ben Ulrich, Murdock's long time ally and journalist from the Daily Bugle, was tasked to find out what had happened to Daredevil during his many years of absence from the public eye, and to investigate what Mapone truly means.

While Ulrich speaks to the usual suspects from Murdock's life, each had their own say and perspective of the segment of Daredevil's as he faced tough sacrifices fighting against his personal dark enemies - from without and within. As each name was strike off Ulrich's list without a further clue as to what Mapone means, the investigation unfolded like an intense gritty version of a Hercule Poirot whodunit.


In the midst of Ulrich's trail, the Punisher escaped from prison and began to eliminate some very bad folks. And a younger new Daredevil was revealed.  Coincidentally, this version of Daredevil was placed in the same circumstances by which Murdoch began his superhero life, which dovetails neatly into the exposition on reincarnation.

Even then, Red Dot Diva thought there was something peculiar in one segment - the sudden death of Bullseye by his own hand. Apparently due to the terrifying effect of hearing the word Mapone. But hey, stranger things have happened in this world.

Another thing (probably not of the creators' fault) was that Red Dot Diva could have read way too many murder-mystery books since she was a child, so she had a good guess who the new Daredevil was and a near spot-on inkling of what Mapone meant by the last fifth of the book. That was a bit of a disappointment because it didn't turn out to be as much of a surprise as she thought it would be.


All the little nitpicks are soon forgiven due to the gorgeous artwork throughout the book, which was varied but very effective. There were the noir and action scenes by Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz that drove the story-telling along, and additional artwork by Alex Maleev (who was a guest at a STGCC 2010!) as well as sequences painted by David Mack. Red Dot Diva also enjoyed the double-page spread on some of the panels, which helped give a few of the scenes a widescreen cinematic feel.

In summary, Red Dot Diva thought "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC) was a solid page turner. The pacing was heartfelt, like a melancholic orchestral piece, and even the silent pauses (especially those pages of Daredevil and Echo painted by David Mack) were oh-so-sad-beautiful.


Going on a tangent here, Red Dot Diva has yet to meet the popular writer-creator Brian Michael Bendis, but she has met David Mack twice.

She had fallen in love with his eclectic, Asian-infused drawings and mixed-medium collages and decided to hunt him down at NYCC's Artist Alley back in 2011. When she arrived at his booth, David immediately remembered her from a Facebook message, and signed a Kabuki "Dreams" book for her. While she was getting more acquainted with the items on his booth, she recalled how David piled her up with not just one, but about five free books at one go! *overwhelmed*

Since then, it had been interesting social networking with David because he loves to interact with this fans. It is also a good way for Red Dot Diva to admire his brushwork, live drawings and other creations as well as slowly go green with envy with the knowledge that he hangs out with folks like Thomas Jane. But then, this diva fangirl has also help him touch base with Reed Exhibitions so that he could be this year's STGCC special guest.YAYYY!


Red Dot Diva managed to meet David (And his dimples. And his biceps.) again at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. David was exhibiting his artworks as part of Century Guild's booth, and she had grabbed her copy of "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC) and the lovely art print of Neil Gaiman's "The Goldfish Pool" there.

signed Neil Gaiman "The Goldfish Pool" art print


Here's a video recorded message from David to his fans in Singapore!



So, do come say hello to David during his autograph sessions at the Walk of Fame this weekend. He is an absolutely delight to meet, Red Dot Diva guarantees.

Or you could also drop by David's booth at the exhibition hall this weekend to nab his goodies that he's brought along like "Daredevil: End of Days" (HC). "Kabuki" books, the limited edition art print of Neil Gaiman's "The Goldfish Pool", original pages from "Daredevil", art prints and MORE!

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David's schedule at STGCC:

Sat, 31 August
1.30 - 2.15 pm - as one of the panelists of "Marvel Artists Spotlight"
3-4 pm - signing at Walk of Fame

Sun, 1 September
1 - 2 pm - as one of the panelists of "Marvel Artists Spotlight"
3-4 pm - signing at Walk of Fame

STGCC 2013: A Quick Fire Round with Angry Woebots (Toysetc Exclusive!)

In a second Article "KOPE", Red Dot Diva brings you Toysetc's quickie Q&A with Aaron Martin aka AngryWoebots!

Just look at all those very pek-chek pandas! Grrrrrrr....

Is Aaron as angry as his iconic pandas? Read on and find out!

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It isn't the first time that ANGRYWOEBOTS has created havoc in sunny old Singapore [EVIDENCE 1][EVIDENCE 2] but it's certainly a first for him, J*RYU and LUKE CHUEH to be caught together at our only toy convention. God knows what kind of mayhem we're going to witness (ACTUALLY WE DO) from the ArmyofSnipers collective, but before the whirlwind hits this weekend, I get to ask a sober and sane Aaron questions.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

STGCC 2013: Introducing Ray Toh and Morning Rain Studio

There is a treasure trove of very talented artists in Red Dot Island, with design, illustration and concept work being the primary kinds of artwork you usually find here. Most of these artists may not be internationally-known names, but they are hard-working and accomplished professionals in their own right.

All one needs to do is to drop by the ART JAMMERS SG Facebook Group to admire the amount of creativity and perspectives of the many artists there, and on a wide range of subjects!

One of the artists who posts regularly in the FB group is local freelance illustrator and concept artist Ray Toh. Recently, Ray's artwork was used for the cover of teen-mystery book "Triple Nine Sleuths" written by Maranna Chan and published by local house, Epigram Books.

At STGCC 2013, Ray will be hosting his own booth at Artist Alley G45 under the name of his brand new company, Morning Rain Studios. His guest Jerry Teo of "Rex Regrets" will also be accompanying him there during the convention.

(More emo on Jerry/ "Rex Regrets" here!)

Red Dot Dude caught hold of Ray so that he could introduce more art-appreciators to his portfolio and what his new company has to offer:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

STGCC 2013: Whips And Chains On The Horizon (Toysetc Exclusive!)


This year's STGCC is set to be a pretty WILD one!

Red Dot Diva says that you cannot deny that compared to last year, the balance toward Western comics or pop-culture is at a more respectable squee-worthy level, with guests like Joe Madureira, David Mack and Adi Granov. Plus, the toy folks are probably still trying to unravel their minds (and purse strings) over a slew of designer guests which include the guys from Army of Snipers, Luke Chueh and Nathan Hamill in addition to regular guests like Simone Legno from Tokidoki and DevilRobots.

So, in order to get as much convention coverage as possible, Red Dot Diva (and Dude) have formed an alliance with Toysetc and SGCollect Forum to share their interviews and still have Geek-Hot Fun this weekend.

This piece by Toysetc is Red Dot Diva's first article Kope (Note: Singlish for "steal or pilfer").

It is about something Evilicious (*slurp* coz EVIL PEOPLE are TASTY!!) found under the umbrella of a cheeky Malaysian-based merchandizing setup called Monkeys & Minions (STGCC booth F44)!

Monday, August 26, 2013

ICDS 2013: A Geek Girls' Chat With Cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao

Gotta admit. Cosplay is not an activity that Red Dot Diva fully indulges in or know a lot of, even though she is constantly amazed by the creativity, artistry and effort that passionate fans put in to their costumes.

Cosplayers are already a colourful mainstay at conventions around the world, and the costumes range from the regular and expected, to super-sexy and in some cases, just plain over the top.

Pixie-faced Alodia Gosiengfiao is considered one of the best cosplayers in the region and she is also known as "Cosplay Queen" back in the Philippines. Alodia was here in Red Dot Island last Sunday as a special guest of International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) 2013, and Red Dot Diva managed to grab a few moments of her time for a chat.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

STGCC 2013: (Regretfully) Introducing Local Illustrator Jerry Teo

Jerry's self-portrait
With STGCC happening just next weekend, I carry the burden of having to introduce a local artist whom I got to know many years back.

He is Jerry Teo, a Technical/ Military illustrator providing illustration services for companies and organizations that require infographics or artwork for their products, services or training purposes. Jerry is also a part-time workshop instructor with LaSalle SIA College of the Arts. He has been working in that capacity for the last 4 years and counting.

At STGCC, Jerry will be showcasing something new that he started working on not too long ago. I've always regretted being impressed by Jerry's artwork and this latest project of his, has made me regret it even more.

Here is a Q&A with Jerry, who probably also regrets answering our nosy questions:

Monday, August 19, 2013

STGCC 2013: Hot Toys To Exhibit Iron Man Suits; Nathan Hamill As Guest and More!


It may be slightly less than 2 weeks to STGCC 2013 but to this geek, it is one hell of a wait!!!

Late last week, the STGCC organizers announced their final wave of guests which include an AWESOME announcement that will make all Iron Man fans tremble-scream-squeal-faint with delight.

Hot Toys' The Iron Man Experience
As if Hot Toys' own toys isn't hot enough, the company has decided to team up with Action City to showcase an exact life-sized replica of the Hall of Armor from Tony Stark’s Malibu mansion! WOO HOO!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

SDCC 2013: Catching Up with "Devil Inside" WebComic Creators Todd Stashwick and Dennis Calero!


Demons, a cannibalistic-fanboy, a Philistine giant with an infamous name and why not, the Devil himself.

Put them altogether and what you get is a free action-horror webcomic called "Devil Inside".

The good vs evil drama that come in full technicolour is the result from the vibrant imaginations of actor Todd Stashwick ("The Riches", "Heroes", "Revolution", "Supernatural", "Justified") and comic book artist, he-with-the-awesome-hair Dennis Calero ("X-Men Noir", Stephen King's "The Little Green God of Agony", digital "Legends of the Dark Knight: Riddler in the Dark" with writer Charles Soule).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

STGCC 2013: Introducing Local Sculpture-Meister HairyAsHell

Regular STGCC attendees for the last few years would have probably noticed a small booth in Artist Alley named HairyasHell which featured clay sculptures with amazing details and creativity.

The man and real name behind the moniker is Adeeb Md Mynul Islam, who works as an animator with video games company Ubisoft Singapore. He also has a teaching stint at MAGES Institute of Excellence, a private tertiary school for Animation, Game Design and Computing.

But when the night shadows appear, his Master Sculptor alter-ego HairyasHell emerges and he painstakingly churns out these impressive sculptures and creations.

(By the way, Red Dot Diva has investigated and found out that Adeeb's alter-ego label has little to do with a certain level of hirsuteness. So he claims. Hmmm..... )

At this year's STGCC, Adeeb is listed as a special guest as part of the WDA (Singapore Workforce Development Agency) booth, together with animators and artists - Stanley Lau (Artgerm), Javier Secaduras and Derrick Song. The team will be doing panels and demonstrations during the convention.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

SDCC 2013 Day 1 Recap: Nothing Important Happened Today Except A Morning Fracas and A Pair of Gorgeous Dimples

Rumour has it that there was an X-Files 20th Year Reunion on the afternoon of Day 1 of Comic-Con at a venue called Ballroom 20.

Red Dot Diva cannot reveal details about the so-called event at this moment.

There was also talk that a couple hundred people or so camped out at the entrance of the San Diego Convention Center the night before for this particular reunion.

Several photos of these people turned up on Twitter. Some were shown snoozing in sleeping bags, and others were chatting the night away while sitting on mats or foldable chairs on the pavement.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

International Cosplay Day Singapore 2013 Just Around The Corner!

Local cosplayers must be having it real busy these days!

Not only would most of them be preparing for STGCC on 31 August to 1 September 2013 (and arguably the biggest local pop-culture event of the year), there is also a cosplay-centric event happening in two weeks!

Founded by cosplayer Jennifer Alice, International Cosplay Day is a fan-based celebration of the diversity in cosplay and pop-culture.

This year's International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) 2013 will be held on 25th August at *SCAPE's The Warehouse (Level 2), from 10 AM to 8 PM. And the theme is all about Science and Magic!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Online Contest: Your Chance To "Kick-Ass 2" At A Superhero Showdown Screening Party!

Craving for more than just the kiddy-family, fun-filled kind of superhero movie?

Then, get ready to bloody-butt-kick it down while swearing when the sequel of "Kick-Ass" returns to the local movie screen this month!

Based on the comic-books by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr, "Kick-Ass 2" continues from the first movie when more people are inspired to don on costumes and become masked vigilantes.

Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) turns to the group called Justice Forever, led by an ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carey), when Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) tries hard to return to "normal life" as a high-school teenager. Then Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) transforms himself to become a revenging super-villian The Mother F**ker and amasses a loyal super-army to scr*w up with all their good intentions.

STGCC 2013: Toys, More Toys and Toy Designer Guests!


Did Red Dot Diva mention Toys?

Yes. TOYS?!!

Why, local toy collectors must have been rejoicing ever since STGCC's organizers have released the latest guest announcements for this year's convention!

Cult toy designers Angry Woebots, Jesse Yu aka J★RYU and Luke Chueh have been invited to set foot at this year's STGCC, together with perennial favorite Simone Legno - creator of Tokidoki.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

SDCC 2013 Recap: Preview Night - Lawn Con, Screenings And A Very Packed Show Floor!

Like last year, Red Dot Diva's hotel room was host to a mini United Nations. There were roomies coming from East Coast USA, Canada, New Zealand and the Red Dot Island. And this year's home base was the very swanky, very nice Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

Except for Jasmine, who arrived late Thursday night, all the roomies and good pal Chelle were in San Diego by Tuesday afternoon, 1 day before Preview Night.

Rheanna and Dee managed to get Comic-Con 2013 passes for Sunday only, but they had lots of activities planned for themselves. And as the week went by, Red Dot Diva noted that they turned out to be very adept at the sport of celebrity spotting. ;)

That left three roomies + Chelle with access to Preview Night, and they decided to kick off the day with a hearty breakfast at the Broken Yolk. The cozy restaurant would soon become the roomies' favourite breakfast stop that week.

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