With nothing to sell this year, I went to Singapore Toy Game and Comics Convention, aka STGCC 2015 (12-13 Sep) as a media visitor to check out the exhibits, the artist alley and crowd.
One-day pass costs $19 and two-day pass costs $28, increased from $25 last year. Kids below 5 can enjoy free admission on Sat and kids below 12 can enjoy free admission on Sunday. Unfortunately this information was not well conveyed as many people I spoke to did not know about this.
There were so many Avengers sculpture and toys that it almost felt like a mini Avenger fair!
Tomodachi T-shirt from Thailand, they are a frequent artist group to Singapore conventions, that's how I got to know them XD Their t-shirts are damn MOE (cute). #loveWefiesWithGuy #longerArmAndTaller
Iwan Nazif, who also drew for How To Train Your Dragon. He was also selling his original hand-drawn pages for the comic book between $300-600. The art was absolutely gorgeous.
Loka Made, they are from Penang. Their artbook looks really fantastic as well. Initially I thought they were from Hong Kong because of the architecture and style ^^;;
1000Tentacles. Maybe I should come out with yoga pose collection too, lol.
Wackymons, remember her from my Popcon trip?
Monster Little by Ziqi, another friend from Malaysia :P
It seems that home-bred Singaporean artists doing original comics are... Few.
Should you get an Artist Alley booth if you are an artist?
Singapore seems to be a hot attraction for conventions these days. For artists, there are 2 major conventions a year: STGCC in September that focuses on western comics and toys, and AFA in November that focuses on Anime and Japanese pop culture. Other smaller conventions that also have artist alley includes new player CHARA EXPO (held in June at Expo) from Japan focusing on Japanese content, COSFEST (used to be at Downtown East) and EOY (held at Marina Barrage) that both focuses on Cosplay.
STGCC booth rental last year with GST was $700 but it rose to $770 this year. If you use a foreign address, it will be $700, which prompted many artists (including PR) in Singapore to use their overseas home address, which may have boosted the number of foreign exhibitors. If your style is more towards Japanese style, you might consider getting booth at AFA instead, which costs only $450 (incl. GST) for 3 days.
If you are a comic artist like me, you can also consider ComiFest, organised by TCZ Studio. Unfortunately either their venue or timing is odd each time and marketing effort is always limited to social media, which is challenging to draw bigger crowds. Booth rental is free though due to government funding so it is worth trying for budding artists.
If you are a toy maker, you can also consider makers fair. Their locations are usually in the heartland and booth rental is sometimes free or by commission depending on sales. Of course the major convention would be still STGCC.
Although me and another con-goer felt there was less crowd this year, probably due to elections, some artists feedback that they made almost the same, if not slightly more than last year, which is pretty encouraging. However if the organiser wants to increase booth rental further (e.g. like $800 for only 2 days), some might just give up totally and go to overseas convention instead, like Comic Fiesta in Malaysia, Popcon and AFA in Indonesia, AFA Thailand and Taipei Toy Festival.
There are much more toys and foreign exhibitors this year compared to last year. More cosplayers were also paying tickets to enter the convention. Perhaps they could rename STGCC to STCCC (Singapore Toy, Cosplay and Comic Convention). Although there was a collaboration with local artists who are exhibiting to do limited toys for charity auction, the focus is still very much on the foreign artists and Marvel goods. Hopefully we will see more original content next time!