The Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention was held this weekend in Singapore (where it’s now Tuesday), and the excitement for comics seems to have taken hold in this emerging comics nation. The show is notable in that is was purchased by ReedPOP, owner of such domestic fests as New York Comic Con and C2E2. The guest list was a merry band of international scoundrels, including Phil Yeh, Phil Ortiz, C.B. Cebulski, Matt Fraction, Gail Simone and Ivan Brandon from the US, Salvador Larroca from Spain, David Lloyd from the UK, Guiseppe Camuncoli from Italy, and, as the wise-cracking gentle giant, Croatia’s Esad Ribic. If you were going to cast a comic book convention movie where people have to fight aliens or fend off a killer or fly off to an asteroid to something, you could not have a better bunch. We can just picture the scenes where Fraction must dismantle the alien’s guidance system, or Yeh offers to let them read an issue of The Winger Tiger in our mind’s eye.
Of course, more regional talent such as Leinil Yu and Sonny Liew were also there to meet fans. There are many talented comics artists in the part of the world — The Liew-edited anthology LIQUID CITY, which just released a second volume, is testament to that.Local press was excited, although they noted ReedPOP had changed the admissions to S$15 from FREE. Despite that attendance was about 21,000 as of Saturday.
Event organiser Reed Exhibitions was unable to reveal total figures at press time, but said that it appeared “on track” to meet its target of about 30,000 to 45,000 visitors. Its success is pegged to Singaporeans who are showing a growing interest in comics, games and toys, said Mr Paul Lee, vice-president of business planning and development at Reed Exhibitions.
Reed’s Peter Tatara and Lance Fensterman at the Medium at Large blog have almost minute accounts of the show — no archive by tag is available (shame, shame guys) but a look at the last week should cover it. Lots of pictures show that it looked pretty much like a US convention, only the people were from Singapore. And…it is also clean, clean, clean.
Naturally, Cebulski was there to eat strange but delicious things. (Hush hush, my Pocket Frogs.)
Fensterman linked to several Singapore comics/toy blogs if you want to start following this comics region:
Open the Toy has a charming account of the show through the fresh eyes that should silence the jaded among us, like this caption:
Opportunities like this never happen often and many long time comics fans are truly looking forward to meet up in person with their comic artist and get their autograph on their comic book collections.
Or this caption: “Beside Ms Gail Simone was Ivan Brandon another famous writer for DC Comic listening and answering some of his fans questions.”
We’ll leave the last word to Ribic, who has the best quote about a comics convention EVER:
“Getting attacked by monkeys. That’s the point of seeing monkeys.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.