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.

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!


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