Thursday, October 19, 2017

Indie Animation Festival Called Cartoons Underground Returns 21 October 2017


Cartoons Underground, South-East Asia's largest indie animation festival, returns for its 6th edition this Saturday, 21 October 2017 at Kult Kafe.

The festival attracted the attention of film makers from over 50 countries, totalling over 400 film submissions. This year, 13 specially curated films will be featured including "Poles Apart" by Singaporean Low Ser En and directed by Paloma Baeza.
 

"Poles Apart", a story about a polar bear and grizzly bear with voices by Helena Bonham-Carter and Joseph May, will make its Asian premiere at Cartoons Underground. The short film won the McLaren Award for Best British Animation at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. (Watch the trailer here.)

Meet Writer/ Artist Max Loh Who Defended Local Flavour with C.B. Cebulski

When Red Dot Diva thinks of food *and* comics, the first name that comes up in her mind is Marvel's VP and talent scout C.B. Cebulski, who is also a foodie and has his own blog called Eataku.

Locally, a well-known food related comic called Dim Sum Warriors by couple Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen, comes to mind. Dim Sum Warriors was were recently adapted into a musical production staged in China.

Others include Red Dot Diva's friend Benjamin Chee of "Charsiew Space", who relished in depicting charming stories surrounding food (yum yum!), as well as Max Loh, who has a self-published book called "About Food". Max recently collaborated with C.B. Cebulski to produce a limited edition superhero food-related postcard entitled "Defend Local Flavour" at this year's STGCC.

Regarding this semi hush-hush collaboration between the two, you might have spotted something shady going on near the Walk of Fame on the first day of STGCC. Somewhat like this:


And if you gave fan love to C.B. Cebulski  at his STGCC Walk of Fame sessions, you should already have received the "Defend Local Flavour" postcard specially signed by him! The postcards were available *only* during STGCC 2017.


Max Loh, the illustrator of the special postcard, is a self-taught artist with a very science-y background. He graduated in Biomedical Science, and has worked as a Research Officer for the past 7 years. You can find his works published in anthology books, "Liquid City Vol 3" (Image) and "Driving Malaysia" (Maple Comics). The later was commissioned by the tech company which owns the popular ride-hailing app.

Max also has a few self-published books like "The Road Not Taken" and "Pointes de Contrôle". Red Dot Diva finds his writing and drawings deeply personal and contemplative, which may help put things into perspective for those who have musings in similar subjects.

Here's a nosy interview with Max regarding his experiences in his journey of being a mostly indie comic book writer/ artist.

Photo by Nicholas Lee
Red Dot Diva: You mentioned that you are a self-taught artist. How did you improve on your craft since you started drawing comics?
Max: Well, I've been to art classes as a kid, so that might not be considered as strictly 'self taught'. However, those were mostly landscapes and posters for school work.

I've learnt the visual language of comics through guidebooks (does anyone still remember the "How To Draw Manga" series of books from the early 2000s?) and emulating things I like from comics I've read. I put out my first self-published comic with friends in 2003, and I think it was only back in 2012 that I started finding my footing in terms of style and the kinds of stories I want to tell.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gamestart Asia 2017: Strictly Reserved for the Hardcore Gamers and E-sports Enthusiasts


Gamestart Asia, South-East Asia's largest gaming convention, kicks off today at Suntec Convention Centre.

At 8:45AM, there was already a small group of gamers lining up to be amongst the first to enter the hall. After all, the first 300 people get a random loot bag filled with goodies.


Red Dot Diva and Ed, her good friend from the Glam Blogger Alliance got to enter the hall for a quick media preview, just before the VIPs were allowed in.


Upon entering the show hall, one cannot miss the trippily lighted main stage looming in front of you. It looks pretty grand, and was a very nice Instagram moment right there.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lenovo's Star Wars Jedi Challenges Lets You Battle The Dark Side with an AR Lightsaber


Amongst all the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" toys and merchandise released during this year's Force Friday II, there was an intriguing device which was placed unobtrusively in a corner slightly away from the racks.

If the looping video ad did not happen to catch your eye, you would most probably not have known about this exciting product that will be available on sale in November 2017.

Take a look at this sleek headset and lightsaber set. Aren't they gorgeous?



These devices are part of Lenovo's soon to be released new augmented reality (AR) experience called Star Wars™: Jedi Challenges. There is the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, lightsaber controller and tracking beacon. The technological innovation was first launched at one of the world's largest tech show called IFA 2017 in Berlin.

Red Dot Diva was invited to get a first hands on experience on the Jedi Challenges gameplay at the Sandcrawler just now. No doubts about it, the AR experience was AWESOME.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Gamestart Asia 2017 Version 4 Returns on 14 and 15 October 2017


Gamestart Asia, the 2-day convention aimed at gaming fans, will be returning to Suntec Convention Centre on 14 and 15 October 2017.

In version 4 of the premiere gaming convention, the event has taken up an even bigger space amounting to about 6,000 square metres, with two new sections - The Gamestart TableTop for all card/ board games like Dungeon and Dragons, and The Drinkery. Red Dot Diva likes the sound of the The Drinkery, which is plugged as a cyber-punk themed lounge space, where food and drinks are available for hungry, thirsty gamers and attendees. Oooh. Red Dot Diva wonders if the servers will be in cyber-punk wear too?

So, what else can folks expect from Gamestart Asia version 4?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

STGCC 2017: Take a Digital Tour of Star Wars Props with Stefan Cembolista of Belgian Costume Division!


Are you a Star Wars fan??

If you are, there are two main reasons for you to buy a ticket to attend STGCC tomorrow, 10 September, at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre!

Reason No. 1 - The life-sized replica of Rey's Speeder

Reason No. 2 - An iconic section of the Millennium Falcon's interior.

Both these life-sized and near-accurate replicas were made by a group of talented prop-makers and craftsmen called the Belgian Costume Division (BCD). Their models have toured around the world at conventions, particularly at the Star Wars Celebration events.

The head and founder of BCD is Stefan Cembolista, a wiry, energetic man, who is first and foremost a dedicated Star Wars fan. Stefan, who was tactically dressed in a kilt (which Red Dot Diva thought that was most swoonsome!), was on site at the convention today.

Upon Red Dot Diva's request, Stefan leapt at the chance to give a tour of both installations to the Star Wars fans out there.

Watch the video below to see what little "secrets" Stefan revealed about BCD's prop-making adventures relating to the Millennium Falcon and Rey's Speeder:



How awesome is that?

The BCD has built other Star Wars replicas like the AT-AT and Tie Fighter. Red Dot Diva hopes that the BCD crew will have the chance to bring these and showcase them in Red Dot Island too!

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Red Dot Diva's geek bro Jedd has also managed to interview Stefan Cembolista.
Read his interview here!



Friday, September 8, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Round-up and Biceps Collection from the Media Preview

STGCC, the largest Western pop-culture event of the year in Red Dot Island, will be opening its doors just a few hours away.

At the media preview which was held at Central Perk SG yesterday, ReedPop mentioned that the for its 10th Anniversary, the convention has expanded to 1 more hall, to encompass the new zones like the Good Game Experience (GGXP) and Akiba Zone, which focuses on cosplay and Japanese subculture.

For years, the "games" segment which is mentioned in the STGCC brand name, has been notably absent. With the GGXP area, the organizers making their bid to get the industry back into the fold. Within the area, fans can try their hands on games developed by local and regional publishers, including titles like Pokemon Trading Card Game as well as other card, computer, mobile phone games as well as immersive VR experiences. There will also be a few hardcofe esports tournaments held live there.

The show's floor plan is also heavily segmented into different types, with attendees getting hit with "retail therapy" first before they arrive at the Star Wars "Experience The Force" section, main stage and Artist Alley area. Certain parts of the show are only available to fans depending on the types of tickets they purchase. Hopefully, this will allow fans to maximize their different enjoyment at STGCC, depending on their interests.

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On site to meet the invited media at the preview yesterday were several STGCC featured guests. Popular comic book artist Frank Cho had many of the media folks and fellow guests gushing over how his creative works had inspired them. To have him at STGCC may be the one and only chance that some of the local and regional fans will be able to meet him in person.

There were also loud cheers for 3x Eisner Award winner, Sonny Liew. Yes, Red Dot Diva fangirl-screamed as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

STGCC 2017: An Interview with Mirka Andolfo - Female Heroes Can be Sexy Too!


Italian artist Mirka Andolfo has a vast experience working with indie comic book publishers like BOOM!, Dynamite and Zenescope, as well created her own cheeky angel-devil romance title called "Sacro/ Profano". Recently, she worked on DC Comics' series "DC Bombshells" as well as "Wonder Woman".

From her portfolio, it is evident that Mirka Andolfo draws influences heavily from manga, with a penchant for drawing women in cute-sexy poses. What is most eye-catching about her drawings is how she manages to add wonderful facial expression and movement to the figures, with hair or items of clothing flowing in sync with the character's action, as if she manages to catch them in a second's freeze frame.

Mirka Andolfo is a guest at this year's STGCC and this will be her visiting this part of the world. Red Dot Diva managed to catch hold of her for a quick interview before this week's convention.


Red Dot Diva: When you first started out doing art as a career, did you have a mentor, and what important things did you learn from this person?
Mirka: After my graduation, I started attending a comic school in Naples (my hometown). After one year of study, I had the chance to have a little work as colourist for a comic, and then I started a career as colorist, working on international properties like “The Kite Runner” (my first “important” job), then “Mickey Mouse”, “Geronimo Stilton”, “Ice Age”, “Adventure Time”, and some French and American comics.

To be honest I never had a mentor. I was inspired by many great Italian artists, and some of them became friends of mine, and gave me a lot of valuable advice.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

STGCC 2017: Booth Highlight - Get Drawn Into the Surreal Magical World of Jessica Emmett's Art


Pandas, dragons, unicorns and cute meowfaces! Those were the things that attracted Red Dot Diva to Jessica Emmett's art when she first met her at last year's STGCC.

Since then, they have kept in touch on Facebook, and Jessica's charming and colourful visual ideas were exactly Red Dot Diva needed for the RDD blog's rebranding project.

Jessica has a knack of infusing the familiar and the strange, especially when she decides to let her imagination fly with drawings of monsters and creatures from the fantasy realm. While Jessica was very busy preparing for STGCC 2017, Red Dot Diva asked her a long list of nosy questions!

Red Dot Diva: Please introduce yourself, and tell us how you got into the career of illustration and graphic design.

Jessica: I’m Jessica Emmett, a freelance illustrator and artist from the UK who’s now living and working in Singapore.

I’ve been creating and making from as far back as I could hold a pencil. I grew up being very dyslexic, so it’s no surprise I gravitated to visuals in high school. On my art foundation I found a passion for photography and ended up doing a Photography degree and a Media Arts masters in Manchester. I was accepted onto a PhD to study how adoption is represented in art and media, given I am a transracial adoptee myself who had worked with many East Asian adoption communities. But life threw me a curveball in the form of the financial crisis which affected me and my husband as a young married couple. I had to withdraw from the program a week before my start date. Devastating, but also an amazing opportunity to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do with my life.

I asked myself what I always wanted to do. As much as I loved photography, I never stopped loving to draw. I also always wanted to do an online comic. Despite my lack of formal illustration training, I created and collaborated on Adopted the Comic that ran for a few years. It continues to be an important resource for the adoption community. Even though I thought I was terrible at drawing I was shocked that people started to make requests for me to do illustration commissions. It led to illustrating an education book, Learn Thai, and on completion of the first book I was hooked! I decided to dedicate myself to illustration.

Alongside my illustration, I’d also picked up sculpting again. It is only recently I’ve started to take 3D work more seriously.
Red Dot Diva: That's quite a journey you've been through!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Experience the Force at Orchard Road Feels Like a Star Wars Impersonator


After the scintillating May the 4th celebration that was held at Gardens by the Bay, Red Dot Diva found it difficult not to feel disappointed about the "Experience the Force" at Orchard Road. She certainly did not feel much of the Force, and is pretty sure many Star Wars fans feel the same way.


Despite having a larger scale of pop-up activities compared to previous Force Friday events, most of the booths in the stretch felt flat. It was as if the First Order had given up hope after Starkiller Base blew up, and decide to get drunk at a Mos Eisley bar. Heck, it might even be more fun to be at a Mos Eisley cantina, but more on that later.

Here are the two main activities that Red Dot Diva thought did not make the mark.


DO OR DON'T DO, THERE IS NO TRY

1. "Millennium Falcon"
Red Dot Diva took pics of the set up the day before, curious about what this "Millennium Falcon Replica" looked like. At that time, the size of the model was not revealed. When she finally found where it was located and saw the set up, she felt terribly disappointed.

Seriously??!

It was very small (website later announces that it's a 1/6th scale), made only of cardboard with custom printed paper wrap, and mounted on a few weird ugly black pedestals. It looked like somebody without thumbs decided to indulge himself in a low cost art and craft project. Those pedestals were fully blacked out later on.

Not surprisingly, there have been many fans who have seen it, now call this the "Pizza Box Millennium Falcon".

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Win Tickets to Puss in Boots: The Retail Romp Escape Game on 3 September 2017

Uh-oh!! An heir apparent of Castle Corp named Marcus Carabas has gone missing!

Black Cat Detective Agency has been called to solve the mystery of his disappearance and save Marcus before something furry terrible happens. 

On 2 and 3 September 2017, Orchard Gateway is the setting for a whole mew, multiplay game called "Puss in Boots: The Retail Romp", which means players are not confined in a room like other escape games.

As players switch on their detective brain cells, the game's clues (with many red herrings, as to be expected!) will set you pitter-pattering around all four floors of the mall in a highly interactive manner. 





Neo Tokyo Project, the mastermind of this mystery romp, has set aside a goodie bag (worth $35 of vouchers and products, including including a $10 voucher from i.t.; a $10 voucher from Outback Steakhouse; $10 voucher from Porcelain Aesthetics; a free drink voucher from Mico Cup - just to name a few!) for each player.


Players will also be pooled into a lucky draw and have a chance to win:

* 1x LED Teeth Whitening worth $999 + Mishha Super Aqua Ice Tear Special Set worth $70 + 1x Bella Marie France $200 Body Care voucher + Bella Marie France $100 skin care voucher (total worth $1,369)

* 1x Scalp Detox Therapy (45 mins) @ $388 + Mishha Super Aqua Ice Tear Special Set worth $70 + 1x Bella Marie France $200 Body Care voucher + 1x Bella Marie France $100 skin care voucher (total worth $758)

* 4x Scalp Detox Therapy (45 mins) @ $388 + Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule 40ML worth $49 + 1x Bella Marie France $200 Body Care voucher + 1x Bella Marie France $100 skin care voucher (total worth $737)

If your teams are two of the fastest in solving the mystery, you will stand a chance to win staycations at Hotel Jen orchardgateway worth over $500, as well as many other clawsome prizes! The best 2 teams will win:

* 1x 2D1N Stay in Club Room inclusive of Daily Breakfasts for 2 (worth $600) + 2x Bella Marie France $200 Body Care voucher + 2x Bella Marie France $100 skin care voucher (total worth $1,200)

* 1x 2D1N Stay in Superior Cityview Room inclusive of Daily Breakfasts for 2 (worth $500) + 2x Bella Marie France $200 Body Care voucher + 2x Bella Marie France $100 skin care voucher (total worth $1,100)

Click here if you can sign up for Puss in Boots: The Retail Romp.
There are 3 game sessions per day.

Each ticket is $20 but the goodie bag is really good, so it offsets the cost of participating in the game.

So, why not gather a group of friends with great Catitude, and have a Pawsitively memorable few hours playing "Puss in Boots: The Retail Romp"??

Well, here's a piece of good news!  
Red Dot Diva has 2 tickets to give away, thanks to Neo Tokyo Project !

Here's how to join the online contest.



"PUSS IN BOOTS: THE RETAIL ROMP" ONLINE CONTEST

1. Follow Red Dot Diva on Twitter and/ or Facebook
2. Share the contest post on your timeline. Please ensure the post is public.
3. Answer the question: What's the name of the missing heir apparent in "Puss in Boots: The Retail Romp" game?
4. Open to Singapore residents only, of age 16 and above.
5. Entries to be submitted by Saturday 2 September 12 PM Singapore time for play session held on 3 September, Sunday. (Amended 2 Sep 1PM: Contest extended to Saturday, 2 Sep, 3 PM! So hurry!)
6. Two winners will be selected by Saturday, 2 September 2017, 6 PM. Winners will be notified via Twitter or Facebook Message/ Comments section.
7. Winners must be willing to email Red Dot Diva with more information to facilitate the prize giveaway.
8. Red Dot Diva reserves the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LEGO Ninjago Lands at Plaza Singapura from 28 August to 10 September 2017


Do you love ninjas? Especially Ninjas in LEGO form? Oh, and what about dragons? Yes... That too?
Then, you must already be a fan of the Ninjago line from LEGO!

The  LEGO Ninjago Movie is set to open at theatres in September, and the marketing vehicle is out in full force.

Red Dot Diva's friend, Jas the "adult kid", was at the  LEGO Ninjago Challenge Event at Plaza Singapura yesterday. Here's her report on how much fun she had while she was there.

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Similar to the activity booths that were launched at ION when The LEGO Batman Movie opened in cinemas, the LEGO Ninjago Movie has set up a challenge event held at Plaza Singapura.


There is a pop up store by Bricks World selling various Lego sets across the different brands, but of course LEGO Ninjago sets take up the most prominent display.

The LEGO #NINJAGOCHALLENGE Event Play Area consists of 4 stations, the Briefing Station 1, where a staff will explain to you what the entire event is about. (Note that the staff might dissuade adults if there is a line of little kids already waiting in line. Try to gather your own “team” of 3 adult players to take part in the same time slot!)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ta-dah!! Red Dot Diva Unveils a New Brand Identity!

*DRUM ROLL and GLITTER*!


Red Dot Diva is thrilled to announce the launch of her new brand identity, with a new logo and blog banner!

The Red Dot Diva (RDD) blog began in July 2010 when pop-culture blogs were still relatively uncommon in Red Dot Island. Pop-culture news mainly flowed downstream from press agencies in the USA to the handful of printed newspapers and magazines here. This was prior to the recent boom of blockbuster superhero movies, and many of these media publications did not cover geeky comic book related news and personalities, like comic conventions, Free Comic Book Day, reviews of scifi/ fantasy shows, local/ regional comic book artists as well as cosplay personalities. It was uncommon to find such topics reported and discussed within the local context; it was even rarer when made from a female geek's perspective.

RDD aimed to fill that space, and in time, the blog has also expanded to cover entertainment and lifestyle related events, including local theatre, concerts, computer games and arts events.

The new branding, designed by illustrator Jessica Emmett, embodies the Red Dot Diva personality, and reflects a more vibrant and still eclectic approach to reporting on pop-culture and lifestyle. RDD also deepens its commitment to build awareness to local talent and events, and aims to provide a platform for thoughtful discussions in the pop-culture scene in a diva-tastically positive way.

Do flex your biceps in celebration, and RDD looks forward to your support for many more years to come!

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ONLINE CONTEST
To celebrate the Red Dot Diva's re-branding exercise, you can join a special online contest!


Friday, August 25, 2017

STGCC 2017: Booth Highlight - Treat Yourself with a Dose of Callous Comics!

Dr. Carlo Jose San Juan is a great example of how one can be scientific and artistic at the same time. He also proves that with determination and passion, one can have a busy professional day job as well as achieve success from your own creative ideas.

His comic strip "Callous", which chronicles the life of Dr. Rianne Nicah and Cal Duck (yes, he's a talking duck who guides her through good times and bad), has been on-going for over 20 years. It is also published in the Manila Bulletin.

Red Dot Diva knows that there may be many aspiring creators out there who already have their own webtoons, self-published stories or zines who find a challenge getting their work to more people out there. Perhaps, you might like to learn something from Dr Carlo's personal experience!

Red Dot Diva: Hi there! Please introduce yourself to the comic book/ cartoon readers here, and how you got into sequential art.
Dr Carlo: Hello! I'm Dr. Carlo Jose San Juan from the Philippines and I'm a practicing physician, cartoonist, comic book writer, and voice actor. Watching a lot of cartoons and reading a lot of comics when I was younger inspired me to pursue sequential art as a profession in the hopes of replicating the positive effect these media had on me on other people.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

STGCC 2017: An Interview with Controversial Artist-Writer Frank Cho (Outrage!)

A couple of years ago, comic book artist and creator Frank Cho was flung headlong into controversy when a segment of fans went nuclear over his Milo Manara spoof sketch cover of Spider-Gwen. A discussion about misogyny and "appropriate depictions" of female characters in the comic book industry, exploded all over the internet. It seemed like everyone and anyone had something to say about Frank Cho's art choices.

The intense backlash has not hurt Frank Cho's career, and he probably has not stopped trolling his haters ever since. Many may find his sense of humour and cheesecake art offensive, but Frank Cho is also a wonderful writer, and recently, he has been concentrating on his own creative works.

With "Skybourne", a five-issue series published by BOOM! Studios, Frank Cho puts his own spin to the Arthurian legend, and propels it to the modern times. "Skybourne" is his first creator-own publication since popular comic strip "Liberty Meadows", and the fantasy-adventure tale has been very well received by readers and critics.

Other projects include "Guns & Dinos" at Image Comics, and "World of Payne" with novelist Tom Sniegoski for Flesk Publications. He is also the cover artist for DC Comics' "Harley Quinn".

Frank Cho has been announced as a guest for this year's STGCC, and Agent W and Red Dot Diva decided to team up (with a healthy dose of Outrage!) to get some dibs prior to his trip here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

HBO Asia: Singapore-based Sitcom "SeNT" premieres 17 September


In recent years, HBO Asia has been actively committed to the Asian region, giving local and regional talent a chance to shine, and providing avenues to put original Asian stories on the international stage.

Dark fantasy series "Halfworlds", which used Indonesia and Thailand as backdrops, continued for two seasons. Earlier this year, "The Teenage Psychic', HBO Asia's first Chinese-language drama set in Taiwan, received high ratings locally and in Taiwan for its first episode.

Now, HBO Asia has ventured into comedy. Their first English-language comedy series "SENT" (#HBOSeNT) will premiere across Asia with two episodes aired back-to-back on 17 September, 2017 (Sunday) at 9PM.

"SeNT" features local talent Alaric Tay's directorial debut for a TV series. The comedian, best known for his hilarious scenes as Andre Chicak and reporter Xin Hua Hua in the Emmy-nominated satire, "The Noose", is also co-producer of "SeNT". The series is produced in partnership with the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Jay Bunani (Haresh Tilani of "Ministry of Funny") is a regular financial compliance officer who writes scathing emails to his boss and colleagues whenever work frustration strikes. These emails were stored only in his drafts folder until one fine day, an unfortunate incident caused the highly inappropriate emails to be sent to everyone who had aggravated him.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

10 Days of Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore Festivities at Orchard Road and STGCC 2017 (1 September to 10 September, 2017)!


From 1 September to 8 September 2017, Orchard Road becomes part of the galaxy far far away, as it kicks off a 10-day festival called "Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore".

1 September is also Force Friday II, a global event when the launch of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" toys and merchandise will be celebrated by fans all over the world. If the first Force Friday in 2015 was any indication, there should be a lot of social media interaction around the globe, as toys are unboxed and fan reactions are shared live. Disney promises that this year's event will be an even more unique experience for the fans, with the use of new technology and more immersive ways to bring the Star Wars universe to life.

Local Star Wars fans will not be not left out either. At ION Basement 4, new items will be released at the stroke of midnight on 1 September (Friday). If you are all out to get the latest stuff, get prepared for a small crowd lining up for the unveiling. So be there early!

The Star Wars festivities at ION Orchard are Free of Charge, and will lead on to even more fun activities held during pop-culture convention, STGCC (9 & 10 September). The entire festival is organised by ReedPOP and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia, with event partner ION Orchard, and the support of the Singapore Tourism Board.

So what can fans expect during the 10 glorious days of "Star Wars: Experience the Force Singapore"?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Diva Chats with the Organisers of the local Memorial for Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

On 20th July 2017, Red Dot Diva received the news of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's passing, while she was at work. It was terrible news, but since she had to put on her game face at the office, she was unable to outwardly grieve for the loss of this talented musician who had touched her soul with his beautiful voice and music.

"Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora" were released during a time of self-reflection and monumental changes during Red Dot Diva's life, and Linkin Park's angsty anthems which featured an alternate wave of Chester Bennington's trademark raging screams and soothing vocals helped her made sense of things.

She finally got to watch Linkin Park live in concert at the Padang back in 2004. It was one of the most perfect concerts by the band, and she will never forget the experience. She was also a few hundred metres away from Chester himself, when a few of the band members attended the MTV Asia Music Awards held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium around the same time.

Admittedly, Red Dot Diva was a little numbed by the loss of Chester as life's day to day practicalities had to be dealt with. It was only the next evening that she was in an emotional space strong enough to deal with her grief. So, she holed herself in her study and played through Linkin Park's songs and videos for an hour or so, listening to Chester's voice and messages while saying goodbye to this amazing, talented individual.

A candle virgil for Chester Bennington

On 30th July 2017, local fans got their chance to say their own goodbyes to Chester Bennington, at a specially planned memorial called "Remembering Chester". It threatened to rain at first but the skies cleared up in time for people to converge at the event, which was held under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Red Dot Diva was unable to attend because she was not feeling well. She followed the event online, watching the Facebook live videos, and pics of emotional fans singing songs and lighting candles. More than 60 people attended the event throughout the evening, and many stayed through till the end. The fans shared their tears, laughter, and personal stories about what Chester and Linkin Park's music meant to them. It was a means of catharsis for so many who needed someone to share their grief with.

The "Remembering Chester" Memorial was organised by a cohort of dedicated fans, with many others who chipped in neared the date. Red Dot Diva managed to speak to the main organisers - Vanessa, Kyra, Cain, Aisyah and Jaslyn:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fans Gather at Kinokuniya to Celebrate Sonny Liew's Eisner Award Win


Old and new fans of comic book writer/ artist Sonny Liew are still on a high even though it has been over a week since the Eisner Awards held at San Diego. Sonny is the first Singaporean to be awarded an Eisner. In fact, he won not just 1 but 3 Eisner awards - for Best Writer/ Artist, Best US Edition of International Material - Asia and Best Publication Design!

On the night Sonny Liew arrived home from SDCC 2017, a bunch of fans from the local comics-loving community gave him a surprise "hero's" welcome at Changi Airport. It was the first time any of them has seen an Eisner award up close.

Since then, Sonny has been constantly in the local media, with several personalities putting in their two cents' (oh wait, got inflation. Now, five cents, liao!) worth regarding the discourse about the government's funding for the arts. Sonny has also been speaking to the press and bloggers about his personal journey in the comic book industry.

Yesterday afternoon (4 Aug 2017) at 2 PM, Kinokuniya bookstore gave Sonny Liew's fans an opportunity to celebrate his 3x Eisner Award win, and to get their copy of "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" signed.

Friday, August 4, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Interview with Hunky Professional Cosplayer, Leon Chiro

When professional cosplayer Leon Chiro was announced as a guest of STGCC 2017, a collective wave of squeals and happy sighs rippled through the local geek and cosplay communities.

Who can blame them? After all, the Italian cosplayer does realistic performances of gaming and pop-culture characters, is absolutely shredded (Yum!), interacts constantly with his fans, and has a cheeky sense of humour to boot!

Leon Chiro's detailed and convincing cosplays have caught the eyes of many AAA gaming companies, and they have hired him as official cosplayers for their promotional activities and events. These companies include Ubisoft ("Assassin's Creed" / "Watch Dogs"), Square Enix ("Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV" - a huge fan favourite!), Capcom (honorary mention for his Dante) and many more.

For the "Assassin's Creed" movie, Leon go to put on the mantel of Aguilar de Nerha and worked with 20th Century Fox on the film's promotional campaign, stunt work and official European launch events.



What attracted Red Dot Diva to Leon's cosplays were his confident, very true-to-life takes on characters, like Gaston from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and his playful spins to existing personas, for instance, Baywatch Gladio. He even does a spot-on Leon version of Saltbae!

Leon Chiro is so popular in the gaming and cosplaying community that he gets invited to attend several conventions around the world - about 3 to 4 shows a month! In many of these events, he is asked to judge cosplay competitions as well, and at STGCC, Leon will be one of the judges for the Championship of Cosplay 2017!

Before he steps foot on our sunny island, Red Dot Diva got hold (mmm mmm) of Leon to ask him some nosy questions:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Illustration Arts Festival Returns On 12 & 13 August 2017 With A Bigger Artists Market

The Illustration Arts Festival (IAF) is back this year at the LASALLE College of the Arts on 12 & 13 August 2017. It is held in conjunction with the 11th anniversary celebration of the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC Singapore).

The indie event, organised by LASALLE (partner and sponsor) and OIC Singapore, brings the illustration arts community together in an inviting, vibrant showcase of creative works, in a space where the public can mingle with the artists and experience their art first-hand.

Red Dot Diva and her friends attended IAF last year and hands down, it was the best, visually exciting indie arts event of the year. Browsing through the Artists Market and checking out the self-published graphic novels as well as eye-catching art showcased by the community, took about 2 hours to complete. There was so much to see! It was also an inspiring day out, as she spent time chatting with several artists and creators to find out more about their inspirations and ideas.

This year's festival is filled with equally interesting guests and even more activities. There will be talks by the following guest artists:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

STGCC 2017: Comic Book Guests David Mack, Adi Granov, Sonny Liew & Mirka Andolfo Added to Lineup!

STGCC 2017 is creeping up on us, and if you have not been keeping up with the news, Reed has announced another list of guests recently. Don't worry, Red Dot Diva is here to recap the second wave of guest announcement.

DAVID MACK
This will be the third time Emmy and Eisner Award nominee David Mack will be back in Red Dot Island, and his booth has always been one of the busiest at the convention. He is also Red Dot Diva's all-time favourite, bicepstous artist. *Flex Flex!*

David Mack is the creator, author and artist for graphic novel series "Kabuki". He has also worked on cover art for the comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", Marvel's "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones", and collaborated with writer Chuck Palahniuk for "Fight Club 2 " in the comic book sequel to the cult hit movie.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SRT's "Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress" 2017: Diva's Interview with Dick Lee and Cheryl Tan


Step into the world of Cixi, the last Empress Dowager of China, at the re-staging of the musical "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress". The Singapore Repertory Theatre production, starring local performer Kit Chan as the grown up Cixi, on 8 August 2017 at the Esplanade.

Set in China over a century ago, the lavishly stunning musical production will also include Broadway and West End star Earl Carpenter ("Les Misérables"), local actor Benjamin Chow ("RENT", "The LKY Musical"), Cheryl Tan ("Romeo & Juliet", "Beauty World") as the young concubine Yehenara, and Broadway actress Stephanie Leigh (Mary Poppins).

Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee provides the music for "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress", and Red Dot Diva managed to get hold of the veteran performer/ songwriter for a snappy Q&A. She also got to interview singer-actress Cheryl Tan.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sonny Liew Wins 3 Eisner Awards for "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye"!

The announcements of the Eisner Award 2017 winners came in early this morning over Comixology's live Twitter feed. The award ceremony for The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (also called "the Eisner" for short) was held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel during SDCC on Friday night, Pacific Time.

Red Dot Diva nervously scrolled down the list and OMG... guess who won Best Writer/ Artist?? It is none other than our very own Sonny Liew, for this work on "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye"!

This is the first time a Singaporean had won an Eisner. She did a Diva Dance of Joy!

Photo by @comixology

Monday, July 17, 2017

BREAKING: Mark Nagata and Ziqi Wu Announces Maxtoy x Monster Little Exclusive at STGCC 2017

** Burst of Rainbow Confetti!!! **

Here's a SPECIAL announcement from our Glam Bloggers Alliance toy specialist, Ed of toys-etc!

MAXTOY x MONSTER LITTLE STGCC EXCLUSIVE

The countdown has begun over at Red Dot Diva, and with only 54 days to go, it's time to hustle for Singapore's only convention that matters. Of course, it's IMHO that you'll find another regional convention with a good mix bag of comics (Frank Cho!), toys (vinyl and resin stuff, folks! For fan service anime types, please head to you know where.) and cosplayers (OMG. Leon Chiro!). I'm cherry picking from the first wave of guest announcement, but seeing how it's STGCC's 10th anniversary, there will be more. Confirm guarantee chop.

Today, Red Dot Diva has the honour to reveal an exclusive collaboration between Mark Nagata of Maxtoy and Ziqi of Monster Little. Behold the gummy goodness of the Rainbow Dino!



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7: Diva Heads to Westeros at Cathay Cineleisure & Vivocity

The Iron Throne at Cathay Cineleisure

There may not be any "Game of Thrones" cast or crew members helping out with the Season 7 promotion in Red Dot Island this year, but there are still some pop-up activities that fans could take part in.

These events will only run from 15 to 16 July (Sat and Sun), and lead up to HBO Asia's Season 7 premiere which will air on 17 July morning, the same time as the U.S. telecast.

Red Dot Diva and Lannister Lion teamed up to check out two different parts of "Westeros" - Cathay Cineleisure and Vivocity.


CATHAY CINELEISURE
For this weekend, Cathay Cineleisure hosts the Ice Throne and Iron Throne. A few weeks ago, both thrones were on display at Chevron House, Raffles Place.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Game of Thrones' Ice Throne / Iron Throne Will Be At Orchard Cineleisure - 15 & 16 July 2017


Already parading your House banner around your housing estate? Have an army of loyal warriors on stand by? What about your own specially designed crown?

Check on all three?

Then, you are SET to sit on the life-sized Iron Throne, which will be displayed at Orchard Cineleisure on July 16, Sunday! Capture a photo of your regal moment together with some "Game of Thrones" characters, for Winter is Here!

On the day before (15 July, Saturday), a special life-sized ice carving of the Iron Throne will be exhibited at the same venue. You cannot sit on this one of course, but you can still try to win limited edition prizes on site! These premiums have been frozen in blocks of ice, and you can try to chip away to get to them.

Friday, June 30, 2017

SRT's "Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress" 2017: Diva's Interview with Costume Designer Yang DeRong


A musical extravaganza about the life of Empress Dowager Cixi, "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress" will return to the stage for the 4th time at the Esplanade beginning 8 August 2017.

The SRT production, developed by Stephen Clark, Dick Lee and Steve Dexter, was first staged in 2002 as part of the Esplanade's opening. Since then, the play has another two sold out shows in 2003 and 2006. The star of the show, Kit Chan, will return in the main role of Cixi for the 2017 production.

With an epic spanning over decades, "Forbidden City" is a large set with several period costumes hailing from the last dynasty in China. This is a huge undertaking for any costume designer, and that's where talented local designer Yang DeRong comes in to the picture.

Veteran fashion designer Yang DeRong spent several years abroad working with names like Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and fashion group Esprit. He is now back home and has been involved in many high profile international and government projects, including being SG50 NDP Art Director and Costume Designer.

Yang loves the theatre, and his craft has been seen in productions like Theatreworks "The Elephant Man" (1987), SRT's "The Dresser", NUS Cultural Centre's "Man of Letters" and "Beauty World" (2016) by Singapore Street Festival.

He was also designer for SRT's previous run of "Forbidden City" in 2003, and will return to work on this year's production.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Toy Photographer Sunny Ang Shares About Telling Epic Tales in Tiny Worlds


A couple of years back, while bashing through the jungles of social media, scouting for interesting Star Wars toy photos, Red Dot Diva found an Instagram account called zekezachzoom.

She browsed through his feed and could not help chuckling at the eye-catching images, usually featuring action figures or Lego minifigures in funny and sometimes very localised situations. The best part of the photos were the accompanying witty one-liners. Even now, those amusing photos help brighten up her day. Like, giant smiles guaranteed.

Since then, Red Dot Diva has gotten to know Sunny Ang, the owner of the Instagram account, in real life. He is chatty, amiable and Red Dot Diva gets the sense that he has a stream of creative ideas buzzing in his head.

As they say, when one finds good stuff, one must SHARE the good stuff. So, world at large, here's an interview with hobby toy photographer Sunny Ang.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Winter Is Here! New Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer and Posters Offer More Hints


While gazillion "Game of Thrones" fans have been waiting impatiently for Season 7 to arrive, a new trailer was released by HBO. The cable channel had sneakily usurped the summer solstice with the battle cry that #WinterIsHere.

Needless to say, the action-filled trailer got the GoT fans going Stark crazy.

Red Dot Diva herself spotted a huge grin on her face that looked somewhat like this (minus those awesome sharp teeth):


via GIPHY

Any hardcore "Game of Thrones" fan must have watched the new trailer multiple times by now, trying to piece together the sneak peeks of various characters in different locations. There are a host of geek websites and podcasts that have broken down each teaser scene in detail, so Red Dot Diva is not going to rehash that.

All she is going to say is, not only #WinterIsHere, #WarIsComing also. Massive, fiery, bloody wars that seem to be the focus of the season, as the various houses and their alliances begin to converge.

Here are scenes that Red Dot Diva is eager to watch in Season 7:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ubisoft Singapore Sails the High Seas with New IP Pirate Game "Skull and Bones"!

 

At a celebratory cocktail event held at KC Arts Centre last Tuesday, 13 June, game developer Ubisoft Singapore's team was in extremely high spirits.

That mood was expected, of course. The passionate team - some of them were at Los Angeles attending The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 (E3 2017), while others at base camp had stayed up till past 4 AM watching the E3 Ubisoft conference  - was elated over the official announcement of their two biggest projects.

The highlights of the E3 2017 conference about these game titles were shared with the press and invited guests that night.


The first title to be unveiled by Creative director Justin Farren at the E3 conference was the big budget AAA online multiplayer pirate adventure called "Skull and Bones". This is the first new IP created by the talented Ubisoft Singapore team, and it is something that the studio has always dreamed of building ever since it was heavily involved with "Assassin's Creed: Black Flag".

Sunday, June 11, 2017

STGCC 2017: First Few Guests Announced - Frank Cho, Arthur Adams, Joyce Chin, Leon Chiro and More!


The Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, and the 1st batch of guests has already been announced. The local pop culture event returns at MBS' Expo & Convention Centre, Halls D to F, on 9 & 10th September 2017.

The weekend coincides with another event called Chara Expo, which is held at Suntec Convention Centre. However, for those who are more interested in designer toys and Western-based stuff, STGCC is still the place to be!

The first few guests officially announced by STGCC will please many local and regional fans.

Heading his way to Red Dot Island is writer/ artist Frank Cho. Frank Cho has drawn for several comic book titles, like Marvel's "Mighty Avengers" and "The Hulk", DC Comic's current "Harley Quinn" as well as worked on creator-owned projects like "Skybourne" published by Boom! Studios, and "World of Payne" together with writer Tom Sniegoski for Flesh Publications.

Known for his mature, cheesecake style art, Frank Cho has stirred up a series of controversies lately. There was that feud with writer Greg Rucka concerning the censorship of his Wonder Woman Rebirth variant cover art, and his questionable depictions of teenage female superheroes, like Spider-Gwen and The Unstoppable Wasp. Still, Red Dot Diva is pretty sure that would not stop his fans here from swarming his booth for sketches and autographs.

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