BEDA

BEDA #23: Singapore Toys, Games & Comics Convention Day #1

In my capacity, I would say that Day One was not very impressive. But I shall tell you why later in this post.
Most of the Valkyrie Knights was in full swing on this day, with the costume entourage as such:

Avarielle as Avarielle with Cat Ears (she had her graduation later that day)

Jolantru as White Tiger (with Medieval Sword!)

Mintea as Femme Doctor Who Ten. Or Femme Ten.

Sarah as CARMEN SANDIEGO!!!

Raven as The TARDIS

Dude as Rubbish Cat… or Afiq from Can You Serve (HAR HAR)

I went as Emilia from Dance Central 1

From Left: Raven the Tardis, Mintea the Femme Ten, Me being Emilia, Jolantru the White Tiger, Sarah the Carmen, Avarielle as herself with Cat Ears & Mint Kang (Sorry Mint! Forgot your character =/). Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

The first thing, actually the first two things I noticed, was the huge booth studded with comic posters and photographs on the left and the Nintendo 3DS booth in the middle of the first row. Needless to say, it was as if my StreetPass (from 3DS) was on steroids.

After changing into our outfits and stuff, we all set off on our Convention journey.

To make things less confusing, I’m just going to break the entire convention down into a few areas:

Artist Alley

This was where most of the individual artist booths were. This place was located on the furthest left of the right hall.

Most of these artists are either local or regional, trying to sell their works to fellow enthusiasts and fans. Avarielle managed to get Doctor Who pin badges for the fans within the Valkyrie Knights from “Sang Sayur”. Needless to say, the TARDIS was thrilled.

Benjamin Ang, Singapore’s first comic artist for Marvel, was there as well.

Match Areas

These match areas were towards the back of the hall, where card games and Tamiya races were being held.

The Race Track. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

I was quite disappointed by the lack of hype on the games though. While I knew that there were matches going on, it didn’t seem to gather as much as hype as they did with the LAN gaming they did last year.

Novelty & Mainstream Shops

Kino and Planerds were there and utterly crowded. They were probably one of the biggest names there selling comics and graphic novels. There were many other smaller shops and booths selling specialty or rare comics as well though they were tucked into other corners of the convention.

Toy and Collectible stores like Play Imaginative were there as well. SingPost’s collaboration with Tokidoki also brought in a new design for their collectible tins. Sarah, Raven and I had some fun with the “stamp creating” machine.

Carmen, the TARDIS and Emilia on a stamp. Thanks SingPost and tokidoki!

What I did like though, was the return of Condoman – a product of socially conscious comics aimed to raise awareness of social problems through comics – and Kalkitos – those colour-on/ draw-on adhesive images you had where you rubbed your pencil over and they adhere to a pre-drawn background.

You can’t exactly have a comic con without these knick-knacks brightening up your day and giving you ideas. Wendy Chew a.k.a. Mashi was there as well but I’ll go into that for Day #2.

The Walls

Marvel and DC had Hero walls of their own, with Marvel having their Avengers as a photo wall and DC with the Justice League.

While I liked those two walls, I still thought the best wall still belonged to the booth where collectible toys were on display. It was not exactly a photo wall but it had this alley feel with comic posters layered on a faux brick design.

Graffiti Wall

I think this is quite self-explanatory. It was quite amusing that the first thing I spotted here was the troll face though. HAW HAW.

Spot the Troll! Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers

We met the HereBeGeeks (KakitaRaisho, Direcow, ProdigalGeek) guys here as well, it being the last station for their “Where in STGCC is Carmen Sandiego?” game.

Walk of Fame & Panel Area

When Sarah brought us to this area, it then dawned on me that the Main Hall, where all the booths were, was tiny. Or rather, really small or compact as compared to last year. Apparently they’ve moved the signing area (a.k.a. the Walk of Fame) and the Panels to the hall adjacent to the Main one.

For this day, however, we went for Kieron Gillen’s panel, as moderated by one of the HereBeGeeks’ guys, Alvin (@direcow). Kieron Gillen is the writer for the Phonogram series and wrote some of the characters from X-Men (as I’ve gathered from the panel. I’ve been one of the “non-comic follower” of the Valkyrie Knights for a long time so when I don’t know, I really don’t. Hee.).

Carmen and Emilia waiting for the next panel to start. Photo courtesy of Mintea.
Us waiting at the seats. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

This area soon became a regular spot for us through the two days of STGCC. As the Walk of Fame only catered to two or three artists at a specific time, about half the hall was quite empty, which resulted in pockets of people grouping together.

For our case, we took individual photographs. Thanks to Raven Silvers for all your pictures!

What I did like about this day was the constant running into and meeting new people. I only heard of the HereBeGeeks guys, RedDotDiva and some of Sarah’s cosplay friends (Luel a.k.a l2eiven, who was Black Cat) online but never really seen them in person so all was well and fun when we met them.

What I was quite disappointed with was the lack of two small but important things that, quote Peter (@prodigalgeek), “needed to be explained!”

–          The utter lack of other console games

There were PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 KINECT game stations around last year so you could imagine that I was looking forward to a round of Dance Central (Xbox 360 KINECT) so damn much that I dressed up as a Dance Central character.

Hence imagine the cheated feelings when I found out that there was no KINECT whatsoever in the area. Some of the people we met were also telling me, “It’s too bad there’s no KINECT around, then people would have recognized you more easily.” Oops there maybe?

–          NO GACHAPON MACHINES

I quote my good friend Raven, who saved up and entire year of Gachapon money “only to realize there were no Gachapon machines!”

To those who haven’t a clue what a Gachapon machine is, it’s one of those machines that you see either outside of Toys ‘R’ Us or neighbourhood shops where kids (or adults) plonk in $1 coins and turn a knob to receive a ball with a collectible inside.

But that aside, I really did feel that it wasn’t much compared to last year’s. What did make me feel really good was the great company of friends that day – Interest has no boundaries. We had loads of people coming up to Raven going, “OMGOSH YOU’RE THE TARDIS!” and Sarah being Carmen.

So I would think it makes sense for me to say that the community really made it great for us.

P/S – I actually feel bad for Jerrick, who came later. He came for a while with some of his friends and they combed the area after a short while! Eeks.

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