Read Play Blog: Conventions Bonanza!

Read Play Blog is a meme about video games and books, posted every 16th of the month. Bloggers are encouraged to answer a discussion question, and recommend a video game that is similar to a book they liked. Hosted by Happy Indulgence Books & Read Me Away.

 This month's topic is quite my cup of tea. I have a love-hate relationship with conventions here because they are always crowded (occasionally stinky, depending on which kind of crowd you get caught in), and I always spend a bomb there, but I love looking at all the art, merchandise, and also get some freebies. Heh! Oh, and the occasional famous person that I actually have some knowledge of, but usually I don't.

Things to note: I'm not the brightest bulb in the world when it comes to conventions. Also, I'm not entirely caught up with each season's new anime/manga... AND I'm not familiar with local publishing scene. I'm pretty tragic, now that I've spelled that out, ha! But my main point, whenever I attend cons, is to support local artists/illustrators by buying original/fan art that I love, and obviously within my buying power!

There are a few cons that I attend annually (if I can afford to spend, lol). I'll link to their official Facebook pages and whatnot. Starting with the smallest to the bigger ones, we'll begin with...


Short for Doujin Market. To be honest, I only attended this once and I didn't go again this year because my experience last year made me hesitate... The venue was really small and I had a hard time weaving through the crowd. Plus most artists there, I could visit at other conventions too! Though the good parts are that entry fee is free and it is located smack dab in town, where teenagers and young adults love to roam. This is, like the title said, a little market for a circle of artists, so don't expect performances, panels, or massive throngs of cosplayers.

2. EOY Cosplay Festival

Short for End-of-Year, but recently, their "End" is becoming earlier and earlier. This year's EOY is scheduled in August, say whaaat? I usually speed through this festival because unless the weather's excellent, it's usually hot as fuck as it's outdoors. And hot weather results in borderline-polite people and a very poker-face me. It's not my favourite festival to attend but again, it's free entry so I tend to go one round, just to check out if any art pieces catch my eye. And again, it's hot as hell so cosplayers I see tend to be melting their faces off or sweating through their costumes... so, you know the results. But it's still worth it as the artists' gallery is rather sizable. Once, I found an artist who had no namecards or whatsoever, but I loved his art (almost ALL of them). Sadly, it was the only time he attended and I have no idea where to find his works online to ogle at, if nothing else. ;A;

3. Cosfest Asia

This is one of biggest, and still free(!) events to attend, AND it's indoors. I don't usually put much effort to attend this, and I need a lot of motivation to attend it because it's quite a distance away from my residence, while all the things I can find here -- I can find in the other two bigger conventions as I've listed below! Occasionally this has some guests but usually they are performers and not professional illustrators or whatnot. Cosplay competition and stage performances (competitive too) are the norm to spice things up. Strangely enough, it's always at Cosfest that I see great Final Fantasy cosplayers. Last year, I saw a rather young but still wrinkled grandma dressed up as the Red Queen from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (and the son was a very eye-catching Squall). It was awesome.

4. Anime Festival Asia

AFA for short (pronounced Ah-fa). One of my favourites because it's so varied but not overwhelmingly so. As the name suggests, it's very (or extremely) focused on animes and mangas, so the guests are often Japanese, as well as performers. I was lucky last year and managed to catch a glimpse of May'n, whom I knew to be the singer for a lot of Macross Frontier's songs. (Here's one titled Diamond Crevasse.) Here's also where I found some of my favourite artists. My top two shared a booth last year, I hope they will be there this year too (or at STGCC). They are Muju and Shikee. Mainly, I fell in love with the Storm Riders print that Shikee made. Old school manhua lovers are hard to find, let alone a skilled artist who loves them enough to invest time in drawing them. Some celebrity cosplayers are also invited to attend, such as Kaname and Reika. (Reika makes me so confused with her male cosplays. I mean, even with my exposure to visual rock, she takes it to another level. /weeps)

5. Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention

Also one of my favourites and also the one convention that causes my wallet to bleed like no tomorrow. GIANT names attend this convention, like DC, Marvel, Tokidoki, but obviously we still aren't big enough to warrant celebrities coming over as well, even though it is the biggest convention in the country. (It's not our fault our country is tiny, please come!!!) I believe this, together with AFA, are two conventions where artists work their butts off to showcase some of their best works as they have the biggest chance to exposure (IRL) to big names. (At least I think so?) Official, quality prints of art are also available to purchase here. I often become slightly relieved when I realized I'm not too infatuated with any particular comic characters (I'm so mainstream when it comes to comics, it's almost sad. I need education!) because official prints (A3? or A4 and above) can cost from S$20 and upwards. Some are signed, of course. Celebrity cosplayers are also in attendance but obviously, I don't know much about the cosplay scene aside from the two that I mentioned in AFA because of my friends liking them. (I am trash, excuse me.)

Some of my other favourite artists (both fanart and original!!):

I am a puddle of mess at the end of this post because I have NEVER summed up my experiences of cons in one shot and I feel like otaku trash. BRB, going to get my sanity back. But I guess if you want to attend a con in Singapore, just pick STGCC for the maximum experience, since we are a tiny country, they usually don't differ much, as you can probably tell from my description... I was running out of things to say, lol.


Popular posts from this blog

UNADULTERATED: Voice of a Person Behind the Counter

Advance Review: Time Salvager, by Wesley Chu

MUSE: 喜欢是什么感觉