Sunday, August 31, 2014

Theatre Review: "Mies Julie" Brings The Heat With A Fiery Performance about Race and Gender

The relentless sense of sweat-inducing heat of the semi-desert region of Karoo in South Africa, was felt right from the start as the play "Mies Julie" kicked off at DBS Art Centre

On stage, which was set as a farmhouse during Freedom Day, the very capable actors of the South African State Theatre played out the intense, erotic and ultimately tragic tale about a young white mistress and her affair with her African black male servant, John.

The classic play about the battle about power and control by Swedish playwright August Strindberg had now been spiritually rebirthed in another time and space. This version makes all the swirling emotions of the story even more relevant and illuminating, as writer-director Yael Farber brings it very close to heart and home by setting it in South Africa, when apartheid ended a mere 20 years ago.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

STGCC 2014: Get To Know Argyle Master and Toy Designer Scott Tolleson


The countdown to STGCC 2014 continues! It's now only 7 days away!

One of the special guests who will be in town meeting fans at the convention will be popular toy designer Scott Tolleson. For awhile there, Scott's guest appearance was kept under wraps by the convention's organizers. Although, it was the best-kept secret ever.  

Thanks to Scott, who had been teaser-posting his STGCC exclusives on Twitter/ Instagram, eagle-eyed fans already had an inkling that he was heading to the Red Dot Island. It was only some weeks later that STGCC finally officially announced him as one of the convention guests. (Check out the previous blurbs on Scott Tolleson here.)

The grizzly-bicepstuous Scott Tolleson has designed collector toys that range from the cute to the sexy to the weird and monstrous. Red Dot Diva has fallen in love with Kookie No Cute, which Scott will be releasing at STGCC. *grabby hands* Must have!!

Awww Kookie No Good...

Ed from toys-etc, and a member of this year's Glamour Blog Alliance, drowned himself in giant rolls of argyle and much vinyl-ness to get more deets from the man:

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Last Bookstore: (Happy Sigh) Diva in Book Heaven

When one is living or visiting Los Angeles, do not miss visiting this visually stunning shop called The Last Bookstore. It is a sight to remember as well as a great hideout for any book-lover!

The Last Bookstore is housed in what was used to be the Citizens National Bank, in a 100-year-old building at historic Spring Street, Downtown LA. The space is large - about 10,000 square foot of book heaven!

Upon entering the main wooden doors, Red Dot Diva felt that immediate familiar wave of swhoosh! when something wonderful and magikal is about to happen.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

STGCC 2014: A Much-Needed Catch-up with Guest, Comic Artist Harvey Tolibao!


After a two-year hiatus from attending STGCC, Filipino comic artist Harvey Tolibao will be back on the island this year, with a few homies from the HMT Studios.

Harvey used to visit the Red Dot Island from time to time for book store appearances. The animated and talkative artist would usually spend time chatting and drawing (not just quick sketching, mind you!) insanely detailed art for fans that would always bring huge smiles on their faces. He was one of those people who gave a lot of heart together with a piece of his art, no matter where he was or how much time he had. When he was a guest at STGCC 2010 and 2011, Harvey would be the last guest to close his booth and leave the showfloor!

During his absence from the island's local comics scene, Harvey has kept himself very busy back in the Philippines. He started HMT Studios in 2011, got married and has a lively two-year-old son. He has also worked on several projects, like Marvel's "Silver Surfer" series and DC's "New Guardians" Green Lantern as well as with Zenescope and Valiant. Currently, he is drawing a short arc of "X-Men" Vol. 4 for Marvel, starting from issue #18 to #22. The female-centric story written by Marc Guggenheim has received mostly positive reviews so far.

The Glam Bloggers' Alliance took the chance to catch up with Harvey about what else he has been up to and his aspirations for the future:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ICDS 2014: Cosplayer Dat-Baka Is Like Light Chili Sauce - Hot and Sweet!

International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) was held at *SCAPE last Sunday, 25 August for the third year. This year's guests were cosplayers Kamui and Dat-Baka, as well as popular photographer from the Philippines, Jay Tablante.

Red Dot Diva and Red Dot Dude (aka Andre Chee) arrived at the venue early to scope out the place. People were just about arriving for the day's events, so it was a good time to greet Jay Tablante at his booth before it got crowded.

It is always delightful to chat and swap biceps with a physically trimmer Jay, who mentioned that he had been eating healthier and working out regularly in jujitsu. Jay also told us he's trying to finish up his next book!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #4 - Introducing Alan Bay And His SmallGuy Doodles


There's one thing that Red Dot Diva absolutely loves about STGCC. It is a special event that lures local and regional artists out of the cubi-holes which they tend to hide in.

During the two-day convention (and sometimes a few weeks prior), Red Dot Diva will get to know a few more talented people that she has not met before. Whenever she walks down Artist Alley at STGCC, it feels like it's one huge happy block party! So much fun!

This year, she noticed an adorable and relatable cartoon character called "Small Guy" :) (That's mainly because Red Dot Diva is small too!?) The local artist who created "Small Guy" is Alan Bay, who has worked in the gaming industry previously where he employed his skills in 2D concept boarding and 3D modelling. 

Alan is currently working on his next comic book within his own Smallguydoodle imprint. His first published comic book called "Atlas" was a collaboration with Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and ChuangYi Publishing. (BTW peeps, one can purchase "Atlas" over this portal - http://fantasticfox.org/ebookdetail/188).

Together with booth buddy and fellow artist Muhammad Firman, Alan can be found flexing his small but imaginative artistic biceps at Booth #AA36 during STGCC.

Here's a quickie Q&A with Alan Bay:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Anderson Cooper Debuts ... In A Marvel Comic "Black Widow #12"!

Gotta admit. Besides those very bicepstuous Ice Bucket Challenge videos appearing on her social timelines, Red Dot Diva gave out a Big Squee after reading this hot piece of news that was already in her email inbox when she woke up yesterday morn.

Two reasons for the Big Squee:
1. The email was an official press release from Marvel Entertainment. Red Dot Diva has been requesting to be on Marvel's PR list for a darn long time. Does this mean she's now *on* the list? Hmmm.... Time will tell.

2. Was that the silver foxy name of Anderson Cooper in the press release byline? *Diva read it over again twice* Oh my Mjolnir... Yes! It seems that Anderson Cooper is not only an insightful journalist and TV personality well-known for his live coverage and investigation of current topics of interest, he is also a big comic book fan!

The current anchor of CNN’s "Anderson Cooper 360°" will be digging out the hidden secrets, red herrings and truths about the Avengers' team member, the enigmatic ex-KGB operative and skilled assassin, Black Widow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

STGCC 2014: Who Else Will Be At The Pop-Culture Convention of the Year?


After the announcement of 12 guests for this year's STGCC, there were some MORE who will be here at the pop-culture convention of the year at MBS' Convention Centre on 6-7 September.

One of them is well-known toy designer Scott TollesonScott Tolleson had already been teasing his fans on Twitter and Instagram with pics of his reveals in the Red Dot Island, including the adorable Kookie No Good. The news of his guest appearance was finally confirmed with an official press release from Reed/ STGCC recently. WOOHOOO! Another of his exclusives is Bella Lee, who will be showing her killer curves at the Pobber booth at #AA76 and #AA78.

Just look at the fortune cookie pout!

Do check out the Spotlight on Scott Tolleson written by Ed of Toys-etc from the Glam Bloggers' Alliance!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SDCC 2014: The Artimus had a Blast at Comic-Con, Where Unexpected Things Can Happen!

It was 2 years ago that Red Dot Diva first met @TheArtimus in San Diego through frenemy/ constant convention-roomie Sara. And even though they only meet in real life once a year, he's become one of her fave geek dudes ever since.

Here's how @TheArtimus navigated this year's Comic-Con attending an eclectic slate of activities in his unique laidback yet semi-planned style.

Oh, and he has included some practical SDCC tips in there too! Check this out:

-------------------------------------

Dr. Strangecon or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sleeping on the Rocks Where the Birds Sh!t 

Underwhelmed.” “Lackluster.” “Meh.

These have been some of the headlines I’ve seen regarding San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Whenever I saw any of those, I couldn’t help but wonder: What convention were these people at? I had a blast as usual, and the only reason I came up with for people being disappointed is that they put all of their eggs in one basket.

Their enjoyment seemed to hinge solely on Warner Bros and/ or Marvel announcing their new projects. While I would have loved to see whoever is playing Dr. Strange grace the stage or hear Ben Affleck’s “Bat voice”, there were three other full days of awesomeness.

Let’s begin on my journey through SDCC 2014. While I won’t bore you with everything that I did, I will showcase the main panels/ offsite events I took part in and hopefully aid fellow attendees with some tips for future years.

Monday, August 18, 2014

STGCC 2014: Alex Solis and His Chunkies Chomp Their Way Over to Meet his Asian Fans!


Whimsical. Imaginative. Hilarious.

Those are the first three adjectives that came to Red Dot Diva's mind when she first came across graphic designer Alex Solis' artwork. She had noticed him on Threadless, and then, through some art/ design articles online.

Other than his Famous Chunkies art pieces, his collection of seemingly simple illustrations using very ordinary objects, and sometimes even with his hands, belies a clever sense of humour. He even gives the term "spooning" a new visual meaning. Haha.

And that was before Red Dot Diva actually saw how cute Alex Solis was and that he was actually quite, quite bicepstuous. Have one ever seen him do those crazy break-dancing moves? Like Whoaaaaaaaaa!




Ed of toys-etc and fellow-collaborator from the Glam Bloggers' Alliance grilled Alex about his work and Fatman/ Batman. Red Dot Diva was delighted to discover that she had something in common with Alex: they both have the same sentiments regarding Batfleck!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Comic Creators now in the Loop with the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS!

It has been so fun watching the celebrities take on the Ice Bucket Challenge for #ProjectALS the last few days!

Red Dot Diva thinks it's a great idea. The social media stunt injects that special atmosphere of fun and camaraderie while raising awareness and funding for ALS at the same time.

(Check out her previous round-up on celebrities doing the #IceBucketChallenge for the ALS Association!)

And now, it seems the comic creators and artists are going to get drawn into this. For internationally known writer Brian Michael Bendis has now completed the challenge and throws the gauntlet to Matt Fraction, David Mack and Michael Avon Oeming! Red Dot Diva had been wondering when this was going to happen, and it has now begun!

Click this link to watch Brian Michael Bendis' Ice Bucket Challenge video!


ICE, Ice, BABY! Who's next!

(Red Dot Diva will be updating this post as more challenges get completed by comics-related folks!)

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #3 - Jai'Ho!! Kini Merch Spices Up Artist Alley with Goodies, Mumbai-style!


Pssst...

Has anyone noticed that this year's Artist Alley is getting more diversified with regards to the origins of the creators? There are artists not only from Red Dot Island itself, there are those from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan and South Korea. And this year, there's even a husband and wife team coming all the way from Mumbai, India!

Diksha & Abhijeet Kini's Mumbai-based store Kini Merch, will be setting up their goods at Booth #AA8. Animator and indie comics publisher/ artist Abhijeet Kini, has worked in the field of illustration since 1999. He has worked with several publications like Random Timeout Mumbai and Hindustan Times, and he is also recognized for his work in popular Indian cult titles "Tinkle", "Milk and Quickies" and "Angry Maushi Vol 1 and 2". Mumbai-centric "Angry Maushi" is actually Abhjeet’s first self-published comic book. Diksha his wife, is the queen of merchandising in their enterprise.

Red Dot Diva finds it terribly exciting to that will be extra spicy Indian-flavoured biceps at this year's convention. Here's Abhijeet Kini telling us more about himself, his experiences and his various works as well as the origins of Kini Merch:

Friday, August 15, 2014

BRRrrrrr! Celebrities Take On The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Association in the U.S.

Matt Bomer accepting the challenge
This is one way to get things viral for a good cause!

The ALS Association found themselves caught by surprise when a stunt on social media called the Ice Bucket Challenge helped generate about USD 4 million so far for the organization this summer!

In the challenge, one is to dump a bucket or buckets of ice on oneself, post and tag oneself on social media doing it and then nominate others to take up the challenge too! The nominated person has to do the challenge within 24 hours or donate to the ALS Association. Red Dot Diva would think that most actually do both, although the donation may not have been mentioned.

Complete with the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge, from the ordinary person on the street to the sportsmen, entrepreneurs and politicians, and to the famous celebrities, many have come on board with this fun activity to help bring more information of the disease, called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, into the limelight and with it, the necessary financial support.

Kickstarter Project Signal Boost: "Temple of Art" Documentary To Unveil the Life of Artists

Click pic for larger version
"Temple of Art" is such an interesting documentary Kickstarter project that involves an astounding number of artists, like Bill Sienkiewicz, Jason Shawn Alexander, Jim Mahfood, Stephanie Inagaki, David Mack and Grant Morrison. And these are just a few people from over 50 wonderful creators who aim to unveil the life of an artist, what art means to them and how they connect with the people and world around them. The brainchild of "Temple of Art" (which incidentally started out as a 2-year photography project) is Allan Amato.

Red Dot Diva first heard of photographer Allan Amato through artist David Mack's social networks. Also, Allan Amato was the one who took an awesome black and white profile photograph of David, which was later used quite often as David's promotional picture when he here for last year's Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC). The photo is in fact used again for this year's guest profile pic as David is returning to the island this September!

The project was launched just before this year's Comic-Con and the accompanying panel that featured Allan Amato as moderator, together with collaborators David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jason Shawn Alexander, Barron Storey, Dave McKean, Kent Williams, Grant Morrison, Ryan Graff, Stephanie Inagaki and Jon Schnepp. The room was packed to the brim with interested fans and media. (Unfortunately, Red Dot Diva had another media op at the same time and was unable to be there in person.)

Currently, there are a few more days left to the "Temple of Art" Kickstarter. To add a little boost to the fund-raising campaign and to bring more awareness about the project to this side of the globe, Red Dot Diva has asked Allan Amato to provide a little more details about himself and the unique project.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SDCC 2014: Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware Yield Nada about "Hitman: Agent 47"

Since Red Dot Diva does not hold any kind of major journalistic cred nor title, she was blocked out of most of the press conferences at SDCC - more so this year than in previous years. Oh well, what's new? (-sigh-)

Luckily, fellow Red Dot Islander and super-kind soul Jedd, who was covering press duties for local movie mag F***, came to the rescue. Having scored an entry into the press conference for 20th Century Fox's slate of movies, he was able to contribute this wonderful press con transcript, and many yummy photos of Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware who were there to promote "Hitman: Agent 47".

As many might know, "Hitman: Agent 47" was partially filmed in Red Dot Island a few months ago, and many of the crew and cast members, including Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware, worked here for a couple of weeks in the sweltering heat. (See more stories on this at RDD's other blog here - Part 1 - Part 2)

Due to this, Red Dot Diva was particularly interested to find out more about the movie. Details about the film have been few and far in between, but based on the transcript, it still seems that the two actors were coy about revealing too much about it. In fact, there wasn't anything very noteworthy mentioned during the press conference at all.

Here's Jedd's transcript on what transpired at the press conference on 25 July:

Monday, August 11, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #2 - No Frogs Legs Porridge for The Elusive Twelvedot


As part of the Glam Bloggers' Alliance for STGCC, Red Dot Diva is "koping" an interview by Ed from Toys-etc.

Stationed at another Bicepstuous Booth #AA13 is Korean-based Coolrain Studio, who will be featuring two of their artists - Hands in Factory and Twelvedot.

Ed attempted to get intimate with Twelvedot. However, as Twelvedot proved to be elusive, Ed managed to get more juice about a different kind of "biceps" from Twelvedot's wife Faye instead. Check out his interview below.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #1 - BooksActually Exhibits for the First Time and will Feature a Bunch of Local Creators


STGCC is less than a month away (eeks!) and Red Dot Diva is super-anxious to meet the new and returning biceps who will be in town for the island's #1 pop-culture event.

This week, she will be starting a blog series called "STGCC's Bicepstuous Booths" which will highlight some of the artistic arms and creative minds who will be making their appearance at the convention. So that it will be easier, especially for newbies or those who will be attending the convention for only 1 day, to hone in straight to the sexy. Diva so nice, right?

By the way, Red Dot Diva is also proud to announce that the Glam Bloggers' Alliance from last year - Andre Chee (aka Red Dot Dude), Agent W and Edward from Toysetc - will be back in full force to create more snarky havoc than before. Do say hi to any of them if one spots them perv-ily-tweeting online or sneaking around on the convention floor!

Red Dot Diva's STGCC Bicepstuous Booths blog series kicks off with well-loved local indie book store BooksActually.

The book store is popping its local pop-culture convention cherry by setting up a sizeable booth called "The Comic Strip" at #H21. The booth will feature local creators with comics and genre-related works released by BooksActually's publishing arm, Math Paper Press.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cinemax Asia: Relish the First Cut and Watch New Medical Series "The Knick"


When a TV watching fan's taste for hospital dramas is less soap-operish and more gory, then Red Dot Diva recommends Cinemax's new retro medical 10-episode miniseries "The Knick"!

The show premiered on 9 August (YAY! National Day, yo!) on HBO Asia's network in the following eight territories, including the Red Dot Island - Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand, with subtitles available in a few specific countries - Hong Kong (Chinese), Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia), Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia), Taiwan (Chinese) and Thailand (Thai).

Friday, August 8, 2014

SDCC 2014: Todd McFarlane Launches His Own Highly Detailed "The Walking Dead" Building Sets

When Red Dot Diva told her friends that she was invited to attend creator/ artist/ entrepreneur Todd McFarlane's launch of his latest product at the Image booth at Comic-Con, a number of them uttered similar comments of "Hmm.. we have been wondering what he has been up to lately!"

Well, wonder no more.

The big Todd McFarlane news at Comic-Con is the unveiling of the realistically accurate and intricate "The Walking Dead" building sets based on AMC's international hit TV series.

As the charismatic, lively and very silver foxy Todd McFarlane mentioned during the launch of the building sets, this product was made in direct competition of LEGO (coincidentally, their booth was just across from where McFarlane was launching his product), and Hasbro's  Kre-O. But McFarlane's version has a notable and major difference - he aims to erase the visibility of those familiar interconnecting knobbly dimples.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Armageddon Expo Wellington 2014: Chilly Weather but with Hot Guests from "Arrow" and "Supernatural"!

While the international media tends to focus on large comic conventions in the USA, like San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con, discerning fans are already be aware of how the pop-culture convention scene is heating up in the Southern Hemisphere.

Recently, popular celebrities like Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Ashmore, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristian Nairn and Jason Dohring have appeared as guests in conventions held in various Australian cities. And even in New Zealand, a few of the cast from TV series "Arrow" met with their fans at the Armageddon Expo shows in Hamilton and Wellington recently in May/ June 2014.

And all these without the hair-tearing angst of SDCC Hall H + Ballroom 20 campouts!

Red Dot Diva's Kiwi pal, Felicia Elliot, was on hand to take in all the bicepstuous activities when she attended a Armageddon Expo event for the first time. Even though this report is a few months late, Red Dot Diva is certain that "Arrow" fans and celebrity hunters would still love to read Felicia's firsthand account of her celebrity encounters.

Monday, August 4, 2014

ICDS 2014: Returning to *SCAPE August 24th with guests Kamui, Dat-Baka and Jay Tablante

With an aim to celebrate the joy and creativity of cosplay together with many others around the globe, International Cosplay Day (Singapore) or ICDS for short, returns to *Scape on August 24th, Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM.

ICDS 2014 special guests who will be making their way here are:

- Kamui (presented by AsiaSoft), a cosplayer from Germany who specializes in large-sized armour and props.
- Dat-Baka, the globally popular Vietnamese-Australian cosplayer who recreates eye-catching male characters
- Filipino photographer Jay Tablante, whose stunning cosplay photography has garnered him many followers around the world. Jay is no stranger to the Red Dot Island and ICDS. He will be doing signings at his booth, and will also be promoting his upcoming book Geekology 2.0 with a photo exhibition.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

SDCC 2014: Diva's Top 5 Squee-tastic Famous People Moments

It is pretty obvious by now that it doesn't take very much for Red Dot Diva to Squee. In her opinion, there's simply no shame in being a multi-lusting fangirl. So long one doesn't get too creepy or abusive. Those types of behaviour are by far a big no-no. In fact, being a successful fan-person takes a lot of skills.

Pop-culture conventions are great places for collecting and having Squees. The blotting out of geographical barriers between well-known personalities and their fans (and sometimes press folks) creates many giddy celebrity moments.

From the planned to the serendipitous, here's a list of Red Dot Diva's Top 5 Squee-tastic Moments at Comic-Con 2014 (not in order of highest to lowest Squees):


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