Thursday, August 13, 2015

Evacomics to Popcon Asia 2015 (7-9 Aug) in Jakarta

Thanks to Draw Slowly and Mark Koh, I was able to share booth with them to Popcon Asia!

Actually this was our first time to Popcon and did not know what to expect. It was held at Jakarta Convention Center, which was a bit small but easily accessible by locals. To us, it was a bit inconvenient because you have to drive a car, or walk for a long time to the main street to catch a cab or take a bus. Lucky for us we have an Indonesian friend Rinnie, who booked a small van to take us around for all 3 days, no wonder she insisted to come along with us to help out, couldn't have made it without her :)

The theme for this year is Galaxy, so everything was in space theme.

You had to go through this entrance to get into the convention hall, so COOL~

The Artist Alley was huge! You can see Wackymons, my hotel roommate, fixing her paintings on her wall here (P.S. She took long time to dismantle too XD)

And this is Rinnie, our angel guide at my booth :3

 When you exit, you will see fan art of Popcon's mascot "Poppo".

There was also a comic strip challenge as well. We were impressed at how the organizer managed to attract such a big crowd by promoting mainly local creations in comics, games and animation. There were some cosplayers, but not as many like what you see in Singapore conventions, even when it is not titled as a cosplay event...

It's also great that they arranged Portfolio Review sessions for artists to pitch their work to publishers. You will never find this in Singapore because no publishers here want to take that risk...

DAY 1

A big gang from Elex Media, my publisher in Indonesia, came down to support :)
It was very nice of them and I felt very honoured that my book is published under such a major publisher :)))
(Of course, I asked about my sales, it is not a best seller yet but doing well. It is very encouraging considering that it is my very first book.)

Poppo, the event's mascot, also made sure he walked around the artist alley to boost crowd! Me and Draw Slowly quickly went to take photo!

The only food you could get was hotdog and a few Japanese snacks in the festival so Rinnie helped  us get food :)
I think it was some Chicken noodles, unfortunately it was cold by the time I had time to eat ^^;;

Day 2

I decided to be patriotic and put our national flag on the table to celebrate National Day in a days time. Even I feel a shiver of over-patrioticism...


Grace, our "Alien Queen", director of this event, dropped by to every booth to say hi and see how's it going for us. You can never ever get this type of warm treatment from the organisers in Singapore, Malaysia and... everywhere else?

I was totally exhausted from insufficient sleep, standing and talking from morning till night, but must continue!

Eventually every single book was sold out. That means 30 Bahasa Indonesia version and 26+1 (browsing copy) of the English version. I think I signed over 70 copies during those 3 days.

And this was the lucky lady, Novi, who bought my very last browsing copy ^^;; She is also an artist with her own brand: Artabell.

I also met my editor Novia, who later left Elex Media~

Since all my books were sold out. I had time to walk around to take some photos. The guy with a cat cap is Indonesia's most popular comic artist: Faza. Beside us were other characters under his brand management company: Pionicon. It's great that he is helping other artists after making a name for himself!

I was also invited to be inside a ASEAN Comic panel with other representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines with our Singaporean comic critic CT Lim as moderator. It's definitely not easy to do your own comics in other countries too.

Day 3

Day 3 started with a "doodle battle" between me Dika Toolkit, a very popular Indonesian artist with over 455k Instagram followers, WOW!

He draws very realistically and well, mine is cartoon...

Here is the video of our 15min doodle battle, watch to see who won!

He was very nice and visited my booth after the battle :)

THEN FREE FOOD STARTED TO POUR IN!!!>>>


First by Novi, who bought my browsing copy... (I like the Bubur sumsum)

Then by Haskara who bought the super-fattening martabak... It's filled with all the fattening things you can think of: butter, chocolate and peanuts! No amount of yoga is going to help burn all these calories...

I also got a free Tshirt from Pekomik, Malaysia! Unfortunately they only had comics in Malay, otherwise I would have bought some of it.

These ladies doing children book illustration also gave me a steep discount for their bags! And there is Novi in the photo! *Love their bags!*

And I got a cute fan art from fellow exhibitor Feriin!

So CUTE!

Me and Draw Slowly ended up winning doodle battles and do not know what to do with the big LINE animal prizes... We later gave them away to our friends XD

After Thoughts

It was a great event for creators like us. We saw a lot of original comics and goods unlike in Singapore, where majority is fan art. You can see that the organizers put in a lot of effort to promote both local and foreign artists equally and did not rely on any star cosplayers at all. In fact, there were not a lot of cosplayers and the main attraction were the creators themselves!!! This is very different from Singapore conventions, where the focus is on cosplayers and inviting overseas artists to draw in the crowd. The only festival in Singapore that focuses on local original creative work is "Creative Market", organised by TCZ Studio. But there is a conflict of interest as they run a comic studio so they definitely promote and feature their own work first. Also the venue is always located at odd places where the crowd will not go or a good venue but on dates that is difficult to draw crowd (e.g. Suntec during National Day). The marketing is also very limited to only social media, where reach is very little. If they charge a small fee from artists and get more support from government funding, perhaps they can invest to do more marketing (like on media or billboard) to get more people to come. Of course, if the newspaper, radio and TV station can do it for free as an article report would be better.

Popcon Asia was indeed a wonderful event and I highly recommend more artists to join, but keeping in mind that disposable income in Indonesia is not as high as Singapore and Malaysia, so prices of books and goods have to be lower. Perhaps it is better to produce there to sell instead of making it in Singapore then bringing it over. Also artists have to work on their branding and marketing for the trip to be more successful. Having someone who can speak Bahasa Indonesia will help a lot as well!

Special thanks to:
Rinnie: Without you we will have no food and transport. Also can't understand questions from some customers.
Draw Slowly (Shawn) and Mark Koh: Without you there will be no booth for me to share.
Wackymons (Shenly): Without you, I won't save on hotel money XD
National Arts Council (NAC): For funding air tickets and part of accommodation!
Grace and rest of Popcon Galactic team: Without you there will be no awesome experience~~~
...and fans: your support gives me energy to continue!

Terima Kasih and see you again next year! :D

8 comments:

  1. Nice to hear that you have a great time, pretty sad that I wasn't able to come this year. Hopefully next year!

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    Replies
    1. We love it so much we want to return again next year! :D
      See you then!!!

      Delete
  2. Looks like you have a great time there! Indonesians are generally very kind in my opinion :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is nice to know you. I have visited your booth when you were in JCC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for dropping by Saiful!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this post, eva. I glad that you're happy at Popcon Asia. I'm your fans and Popcon Asia team. At event, i must work but i also make my time for go to your booth. And when i go to your booth, there is no you :(( really sad to know i didnt meet you at event T__T

    Afterall, i really happy to know you enjoy this event ^^ thanks, eva. Come to Indonesia again ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, but your team did a great job. Thank you very much for making our trip so wonderful and hope to meet you next time!!!

      Delete

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