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 ContrĂ´le". 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.

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