Saturday was my first ever convention. In some ways it was a learning experience, in preparation for my participation at future conventions. And I have to say, I do want to go to more conventions.
So I went to the Toys, Games and Comics Convention at Suntec City. I wanted to get there right when the doors opened, and I did, except that I had to wait outside and watch everyone go in first.
I have to admit, I never knew there were so many cosplayers in Singapore. Some of the costumes were really nice and detailed, and they looked quite cool. There was this one group of people working on a pair of silver wings, which had a fan motor attached to the center, and had a wheel of swords (fake, obviously) attached to the motor. I never saw it working later in the day, but I thought it was quite cool. I remember seeing a really pretty Pokemon cosplayer, but none of us could identify what Pokemon she was cosplaying (yellow and green, if you know by any chance). Jc took a picture with a Venosaur, and Lou Ee got one with Megaman. (I got one with V! But that was later in the day.) There were also a couple of of dudes suited up as Halo shock troopers, those were quite cool.
People usually don't have many good things to say about cosplayers, but me being an actor, I know the kind of liberation you feel when you're dressed up as someone else. It reminds me of this picture I saw about Halloween, which said half of the people get into costume because it lets them be someone else, while the other half does it so that they can be themselves.
As for the rest of the convention, I guess I expected it to be... bigger? I assumed that it would be like ComiCon in the US, but since comics aren't big enough here, they diluted it with games and toys as well. The toys weren't really "toys" per se, more like those novelty gifts and figurines and stuff. Games were mostly new MMORPGs, and they had a huge area in the centre where they kept having tournaments and free demos. One of the more awesome things there was the Artists' Alley, where regional artists (and a few international ones) showcased some of their works. Imaginary Friends Studios was arguably one of the best there, though there was so much talent it was hard to decide a clear winner.
It was the comics that interested me most, and there were few there. There was a booth selling mint conditions of old Marvel and DC comics (I mean 1970s, 1980s), which didn't interest me much. I bought four Civil War trade paperbacks (squeee~!) for only $56 (squeeeeee~!) because they were selling them at a 1 SGD to 1 USD rate. The other three all bought issues of V for Vendetta.
We wandered around for a while before lunch. There was this really adorable cat coin box, where the cat popped out of the top and grabbed the coin before disappearing back in (which I bought, incidentally). Oh, I remember that there was this really pretty girl with an oversized teddy bear advertising for some MMO, but she was kept inside this small booth with a glass screen, and people (guys, mostly) kept stopping to take pictures of her. I thought it was quite cruel and depressing to see her stuck in that box.
There was this Marvel panel discussion in the middle of the afternoon, and I guess it was quite interesting to see the people behind all the great contributions to graphical stories. I remember people asking them quite typical questions, and I was going to ask one about how Asian art was influencing Western comics, but they ran out of time and I didn't get to ask it.
All in all I got a whole bunch of freebies and an idea of what to expect if I come for this expo next year. I'm hoping that they will bring in more comics the next time around though.
That night, we went to watch Walking with Dinosaurs. It's a funny story acutally: we went to meet at Junction 8 for dinner, where we ended up eating Manhattan Fish Market, and we only left at 7.30 (the show was at 8pm at the Indoor Stadium). But when we get to the train station, Shaun Ong managed to get in without having an EZLink card. So we waited for him to get a one-shot ticket, and when we get to the platform, we find out that the train was delayed due to some technical fault. So we stood around for a couple minutes, hoping that the train would come, until it hit 7.45pm. We rushed out of the station to catch a cab, and wound up there at around 8.10. Hopefully we didn't miss much of the show.
The show was quite spectacular. It was extremely well choreographed, and I loved how they made the plants with inflatable balloon-like things. The dinosaurs were so real; the animatronics were fantastic. The T-Rex was AWESOME (and the baby one was quite cute). I kept expecting the narrator to suddenly burst out in Crocodile Hunter, though.
So that was my Saturday. Comics and dinosaurs, always an awesome combination.
The Edna Man