Friday, September 18, 2015

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) 2015

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015
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.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015
There were so many Avengers sculpture and toys that it almost felt like a mini Avenger fair!

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 magic
It was cool to see Magic the Gathering, otherwise there would be no "Game" element in the convention.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 bearbrick be@rbrick jiang shi
Another star attraction was Be@rbrick's limited edition "Jiang Shi" (vampire) design, which I admit was quite cute and worth to queue if you are a toy collector.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 cosplay
There were many cosplayers walking around, outside and inside the convention.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 adam hughes cb cebulski
Stage panel was lukewarm except when it comes to heavy-weight (literally) star guests like Adam Hughes (comic book artist) and C.B. Cebulski (comic writer, but he scouts for artists too for Marvel). CB had scouted quite a number of artists from STGCC for years now. So if you want to work on Marvel covers, you should attend STGCC to hunt him down, haha.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 yoshiyuki sadamoto
I also met someone who queued for one hour to get an autograph from Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, artist of Evangelion.

Artist Alley

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley
The crowd was slow in the morning (probably due to elections) but started to pick up after lunch~

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley
Met 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

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley yusuf idris
There were also more artists from Indonesia doing live commission work, starting from $200, which looked absolutely awesome! (Above is Yusuf Idris)

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley iwan nazif
 LIVE DRAWING of commission work using ink pens and COPIC markers! So fast!!!

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley iwan nazif
That was done by 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.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley
There was also another artist from China doing demonstration, also fan art.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley
There were artists from Japan too! (Though I wasn't sure if they blocked their name on purpose?)

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley james gilarte
Australia as well.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley loka made
And Malaysia of course. Above is by 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 ^^;;

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley stanley lau artgerm
Star artists were naturally very busy doing commission work and signing, time is money.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley sonny liew
I had no problem snapping photos without the artists, who were too busy to notice me.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley 3dsense media school
There was also 3D sense school, who rented the booths for their alumni to sell their artwork. It was very nice of them.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley caricatures
You also see studios occupying major spaces as well.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley 1000 tentacles studio
Love these figurines from 1000Tentacles. Maybe I should come out with yoga pose collection too, lol.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley wackymons
 Supporting my friend Wackymons, remember her from my Popcon trip?

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley ziqi monster little
Also Monster Little by Ziqi, another friend from Malaysia :P

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley choon wee
My ex-classmate K, was selling his sketchbook with mixture of original and fan art. This is his 4th year? there!

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley
There were only a few booths doing original comics.

Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention STGCC 2015 artist alley comix pandora
Comix Pandora is a local group. They look like manga fan art but they do original story. There were 7 artists sharing one booth! No choice because of the high rental price!

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.

In Conclusion

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!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Eva.
    Reading this post really made me envy you. From where I am, Japanese, and comics culture are not so popular. We do have a small community though. We call ourselves Manga Crew, and we have a passion for anything manga, anime, and comics related.
    We have been holding events like Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention for a few years now. Although it is on a much smaller scale, the number of people attending, cosplayers, and artists present there has increased.
    Since both manga, and comics cultures are not that popular, we merge them both into one convention called Animenext, which is held in December every year.
    A personal friend of mine, who is an artist, always displays her stuff at this convention. She does drawings, plushies, bookmarks, keychains, and other things as well.
    We also have a food section where we sell Japanese food, sushi, rice and curry, dangos, etc.
    The gaming section focuses more on console gaming, and most of them only play games like FIFA, or FPS games. The only card game that we play is Yu-Gi-Oh, and it's always the same persons who are playing every year.
    On top of that, we have competitions too! Drawing competitions, cosplay competition, and eating competitions (chubby bunny, and wasabi challenge!)
    If you're ever in Mauritius in December, you could visit us!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invitation and all the best to your convention too!

      Delete
  2. do u know how or where book the afa booth ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They will usually announce on their FB page a few months before the actual event.

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