Doors to Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019 opened on Dec 7, giving pop culture fans an early Christmas treat. Spanning halls A through C at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre, the two-day event is one of Asia’s largest comic conventions – 55,000 lovers of movies, comics, gaming and cosplay from around the region are expected to attend by the end of today.
Previously known as the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC), it has been rebranded to align with organiser ReedPOP’s stable of comic conventions, including the widely popular New York Comic Con.
For the uninitiated, coming to the “con” requires some preparation. This starts from planning your route of advance based on the floor plan.
Body-slamming entertainment from Singapore Pro Wrestling greets guests at the entrance. Wrestlers are vying for the inaugural SGCC Cup, so be sure to catch that – if you’re not squeamish.
Beyond the wrestling ring lie toy exhibitors such as Tamashi Nations, which produces licensed figurines from the Star Wars, Marvel, Ultraman universes. Also exhibiting their wares are the homegrown XM Studios and Mighty Jaxx. Both giants in the collectible world.
XM produces insanely detailed busts and sculptures from comics such as Avengers. Figurines by Mighty Jaxx come with a macabre twist. Working with familiar characters from Sesame Street, DC Comics and others, designer Jason Freeny provides a dissected view of childhood friends like Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and Elmo.
Be sure to come early if you’re a Tokidoki fan. By 10.15 am – 15 minutes after doors opened – there was already a queue snaking around the large booth.
Visitors to big comic conventions are usually given sneak previews of movies, toys and such. At SGCC, Lego Singapore announced its latest offering in the Creator Expert series, The Bookshop. Available for pre-order, visitors to the convention are the first in the world to see it in person.
If you’re looking to pick up new comics or toys, this is your playground.
Comic fans and art lovers should make a beeline to the right of the halls, where local, regional and global artists and writers have taken up booths to sign comic books. You can either bring your own or buy original art and comic books for the artists to autograph. And if you ask really nicely, they might sign your toys too.
Waiting in line for Indonesian artist, Yasmin Putri, was Angelina – who started getting "really into comics" recently. Her favourite activity at SGCC is to check out all the art. “There are so many different artists and they all have such unique styles, and they’re all really, really, really nice,” she gushed.
Local comic book illustrators and writers leverage the event to launch their books, including The World My Arena by KJ as well as Michael Sng’s Machination Studios, which makes killer mash-up war-inspired dioramas and toys. If you’re looking to pick up new comics or toys, this is your playground.
Self-confessed super-fan Abdul Hadi braves the causeway every year to attend the conference. Except for the two years when his children were born, the Batman fan has never failed to show up.
“I’m glad the focus has shifted back to comics this year. There were fewer comic stars in the past,” he said. “The guests attending this year’s event are significant, from Jock, Greg Capullo, Donny Cates as well as regional artists like Whilce Portacio from the Philippines. As long as the content stays strong and they continue to bring in good artists and writers at a good price, I’ll definitely be back.”
Visitors to the event on Sunday will get a chance to take part in an escape-room style game structured within the halls.
First-time comic con attendee Chris Wong was spotted with his family. “The comic convention is unlike anything you see elsewhere. If you’re a fan of comics and pop culture, you should definitely come. You could, maybe, find a comic store in a mall tucked in an obscure corner but here you get to see the biggest names in comics, movies and cosplayers here in one place,” he said.
Besides comics, the event offers a live preview of e-sports, exciting panels with world-famous comic book writers and illustrators, as well as workshops for people who want to get their start in comics or want to be toy designers. Visitors to the event on Dec 8 will get a chance to take part in an escape-room style game structured within the halls. Find out how at chimeras.online.
Adman-turned-DC illustrator Quah Kai Ming, who goes by pen-name Alan Quah, said: “Even if you don’t read the Batman comics, you’d have watched the movies. You’d have bought T-shirts with superhero logos, you’d have seen posters and statues. This is your chance to see the people behind the Dark Knight comics like Greg Capullo and Andy Kubert. It’s exciting.”
The Malaysian artist has also designed Marvel and DC licensed statuettes for the Royal Selangor Pewter, which is showcased at the event. “Come to my booth and say hi. There’s no reason not to come.”
Singapore Comic Convention 2019 runs till Dec 8 at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.